Death

Nothing – part 2

The pain burning down my chest and I couldn’t be happier.
Here it is, a real feeling, I burn!
Each and every breath I take, the pain unbearable.
It’s raising up into my head, I can feel it, throb and vibrate.
My limbs rip, the pain doesn’t stop.
Filling my lungs with oxygen again. More powerful, the flames in my chest.
The twitching of my arms, I can’t control.
Any agony, better than the nothing I was in.
Bedded in physical misery, my memory comes back.
Just like a thunderclap.
A day on the beach, windy and cloudy. Sand under my feet, my route leading me along the beach as dark clouds set in to stay. They turn pitch black while the storm doubles its speed. I wanted to return, should have done that earlier for sure.
I turn on my heel, telling myself I should walk faster.
The world seemed to end. Looking over the waves of the wild ocean, it was like I heard someone scream.

I scanned the waves, my sight blurred by rain and sand, lashing in my face.
There I saw it, right in front of me, but miles away.
Almost I didn’t recognize, there was someone drowning. In a heartbeat, I turned around: “Help! We need help!“, I shouted out loud.
The beach earlier crowded with people, was empty now. There was not a single soul out there. I need to save this person! As I stumbled in the direction to the ocean, I slipped out of my shoes and jacket. „I’m coming to save you!“, I yelled. Arrived in the cold water, I realized how troublesome this rescue will become. Not as easy as I imagined. I pushed all my powers into my arms and legs while swimming. Never ending the time seemed while I was getting closer to my goal. I gulped way too much water, coughing and shaken from that, I still pushed through.
When I reached her, I noticed that it was a young woman, not screaming any longer.
She was floating in the high waves that surrounded us.
Was I too late? At my first try to grab her, I felt the heaviness of her body. How should I rescue her and myself? I wrapped both my arms around her shoulders, while I backstroke. Captured by the next powerful wave, I felt the water filling up my lungs.
I held her close, strongly pressing her onto my body.
Underwater, I opened my eyes. The perspective pitch black for us, in every sense.
Here it goes, my memory, floating away. Nothing up from this point.
Did my existence end right here?

The pain of breathing most likely just a phantasm, I gave it another chance.
Focusing on nothing but that, I let the memory fade. Far away.
The pain came back, burning like straight from hell. Running through my eyes, just like salty water.
When it seemed, as any minute of misery would be my end for sure, I pushed further.
Another breath.

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Nothing – part 1

Nothing

Isn’t it like your eyes get used to the darkness?
Well, right now, in this moment that lasts countless times, I cannot confirm that.All I see is black. „Am I still alive?“ I ask myself.
There’s no sound, that could reach my ears. Nothing. Literally, you could hear a pin falling. Every breeze you could feel if there was any. Absolute silence, darkness. I wouldn’t call this pure bleakness. Rather, I would say, it’s a perfect nothing. Besides my memories, there’s nothing and even that is just finding its way to me like drippy rain.

A Thousand tries I’ve tried to move. My body, if still alive, doesn’t obey. My limbs I cannot feel. Maybe I was buried alive? The definition of „alive“ seems complicated in the “here and now”. Did I just end being? All of a sudden, without any warning.
I wasn’t sick, wasn’t I? My memory is just coming back in tiny fractions.
No, I wasn’t sick but am I right now?
An accident, maybe? No, but I wasn’t sure about that.
Did I ever exist at all? Yes, I did even live. Happily.
Is this my end? Maybe. Maybe I missed the end just as the beginning.

As for all efforts, I put in since being in this state, there’s one I never risked: Breathing.
It never came to my mind, to give it a try and just take a deep breath.
To hope my lungs would fill with oxygen, making magic happen and end this
miserable state for a new beginning. What could I possibly lose? Besides this nothing, I was floating in.

Would the realization that there are no more breaths for me, make me sad? Feeling sadder than right now wouldn’t be possible anyway.
I needed to give it a try. Take the risk.
More tiny fractures were forming in my memory.
I felt like I tasted salt on my tongue.
Was this my brain, playing me to relieve the ultimate goodbye? I feel the wind, not a soft breeze but a powerful storm.
It feels just like the storm was throwing sharp shivers, they cut my face.
The whistle of the storm, rushing through my ears. I want to cover them, my limbs don’t obey.
They refuse to serve me still. The memory is fading. Taken away by the storm.
Not little by little but with one giant blow. It’s gone. All that remains is darkness and torturing silence. I need to breathe if I can.
How many days and hours I did hesitate, is impossible to tell.
The theory of time, no longer entangled with me. Not reachable.
Now as I am ready, I ask myself if you could ever forget how to breathe.
You’ve waited too long, missed your chance?
All power I can raise, I need to combine. There’s just no other way and so I say to myself: “Breathe, start breathing now!”

Silence.
Then a whiz.
What now?

Nichts – Teil 1

Unsere Augen gewöhnen sich an die Dunkelheit. Ich jedenfalls kann das gerade in diesem Moment, der schon unzählige Momente andauert, nicht bestätigen.
Alles, was ich sehe, ist schwarz. „Bin ich noch am Leben?“ frage ich mich.
Dort ist kein Geräusch, das an meine Ohren dringen könnte. Nichts. Man könnte sprichwörtlich eine Stecknadel fallen hören. Jeden Luftzug könnte man spüren, wenn dort einer wäre. Absolute Stille, Dunkelheit. Trostlosigkeit würde ich es nicht nennen. Es ist ein perfektes Nichts.
Außer meiner Erinnerung gibt es nichts, und auch jene findet nur tröpfelnd – wie sanfter Regen – den Weg zu mir.
Tausende Versuche habe ich unternommen, mich zu bewegen. Mein Körper – sofern dieser noch am Leben ist – gehorcht mir nicht. Meine Glieder – ich kann sie nicht spüren.
Vielleicht wurde ich lebendig begraben? Die Definition von „lebendig“ erscheint mir kompliziert.
Hörte ich einfach auf, zu sein? Schlagartig, ohne jede Vorwarnung?
Ich war doch nicht krank? Meine Erinnerung kommt in winzigen Bruchteilen zurück.
Nein, krank war ich nicht. Doch bin ich es jetzt?
Ein Unfall vielleicht? Nein, aber sicher bin ich nicht.
Habe ich jemals existiert? Ja, ich habe sogar gelebt. Glücklich.
Ist das mein Ende? Vielleicht. Vielleicht habe ich das Ende auch verpasst. So wie den Anfang.

Bei allen Versuchen, die ich unternommen habe, seitdem ich mich in diesem Zustand befinde, gab es einen, den ich nicht gewagt habe: Atmen.
Es kam mir nicht einmal in den Sinn, einen Atemzug zu versuchen. Zu hoffen, meine Lungen würden sich mit Sauerstoff füllen, diesem Dasein ein Ende setzen oder einen neuen Anfang.
Was hatte ich zu verlieren? Außer dem Nichts, in dem ich schwebte.

Würde die Realisation, dass es für mich keinen weiteren Atemzug gibt, mich traurig machen? Trauriger als jetzt könnte ich doch wahrhaftig nicht sein.
Ich musste es wagen. Weitere Bruchstücke fügten sich meiner Erinnerung hinzu.
Es war mir, als schmeckte ich Salz auf meiner Zunge.
Ist es mein Gehirn, das mir nun Empfindungen vorgaukelt, um mir den Abschied zu erleichtern?
Wind kann ich spüren. Keine leichte Brise, es ist ein gewaltiger Sturm.
Es fühlt sich an, als schleuderte der Sturm scharfe Splitter; sie schneiden in mein Gesicht.
Das Pfeifen des Windes, es saust durch meine Ohren. Ich möchte sie zuhalten, meine Glieder, sie verweigern mir weiter ihren Dienst. Die Erinnerung, sie verschwimmt. Vom Sturm fortgetragen, nicht allmählich, sondern mit einem einzigen Windstoß. Fort ist sie. Was bleibt, ist Dunkelheit und quälende Stille.

Ich muss atmen. Falls ich kann.
Wie viele Tage und Stunden ich gehadert habe, kann ich nicht sagen.
Das Gefüge Zeit, nicht mehr mit mir verwoben. Nicht greifbar.
Nun, da ich bereit bin, frage ich mich, ob man jemals vergessen kann, wie man atmet.
Zu lange gegrübelt, Chance verpasst?
Alle Kraft, die ich aufbringen kann, muss ich nun bündeln, ich weiß keinen anderen Weg, deshalb spreche ich in Gedanken: „Atme, nun atme schon!“

Stille.
Dann ein Zischen.
Was nun?

What’s wrong with you?

„Mama, what happens when we die? “asked Marie, almost like a side note on our way home from the Kindergarten. It hit me hard, I almost stopped walking.
“How do you come to this question, baby?” I replied.
“I don’t know Mama, isn’t it true, that we all have to die one day? Do you know, when I’ll have to?”
“Oh, my sweet child, oh no!” I said and stopped, taking her into my arms. A little tear ran over my cheek as I felt the pain when this topic arose in me. Then I tried to explain: “No one knows when he has to go, my angel. All humans, animals and also plants have to die one day.”
When she stepped away from me, freeing herself from my tight hug, I saw that she was confused.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” I asked her.
“You’ve not answered my question, Mama. Why does no one ever answer questions like this one? What’s wrong with you, adults?”
I was looking for a place to sit down and, every other day it seemed that this area was packed with way too many benches, I couldn’t find one right now. I leaned forward, “I want to answer all your questions I just don’t know the right answer”
“Could we ask someone else, then?” Marie asked promptly, bright blue eyes staring at me, obviously excited to hear my answer.
“Sure baby, there are people that are able to answer many, many questions but not this one. When we die, it’s like we fall asleep without waking up ever again. Our life is over by that time”, I struggled.
Marie obviously pondered on my words and said: “Okay”, nothing but that.
“Do you have more questions, sweetie?” I stilled myself.
“I don’t know yet, Mama. Maybe later. I promise I’ll try not to make you sad again, Mama”, she said, while raising her tiny hand for a vow.

Are the most traumatic and painful events, even more, aching for us, if we constantly ban them from our lives? For sure, we wouldn’t be able to live happy and calm, thinking about our ultimate end every day. Nevertheless, we should ask ourselves: Does the, here, acquired taboo enlarge pain and anxiety? Is it a fact, that we push the saddest part in our life, the end of it, too far away?
Even though, life and death inevitably belong together?

Born to die, mankind can neither escape pain nor death.
-Voltaire-