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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Great Beyond

I can't really remember a time when I wasn't aware of how fast time goes by.  When I was in elementary school, I remember thinking "Wow, it's 1994 already.  It seems like the years just sped by!"  In 1994, I was 7 (turned 8 in September of 1994).

Life seems to go a little quicker each year, which sometimes feels overwhelming.  I think part of the reason I've been aware of the hastiness of time is that I've dealt with my own mortality at a young age.  It's never been a secret to me that my life has no guaranteed length; I wasn't even expected to see my 7th birthday when I was diagnosed with germination cell cancer back in 1993.  But here I am, almost 19 years later, and doing fine.  (Well, for the most part.  Cancer, as I've learned, is a lifelong battle, even when the cancer itself is gone- it doesn't define or rule me, though.)  There's always been the thought in the back of my mind that I'd go before I'm 30, which I hope I'm wrong about.  There's no real rhyme or reason for the thought; just something I've felt.

I'm not really afraid of dying (I'd prefer not to for a while, though).  It's something that is a part of life- there is no secret to immortality that has been discovered, and the fact remains that if you're alive, you will also die.  But like I said, dying isn't scary- it's not really living that is scary.

We're put here on earth for only a short while.  In the grand scheme of things, our lifespans are pretty short.  But they're full of endless potential- what we are capable of stretched beyond the depth of the most vivid imaginations, and the beauty of humanity can really shine through if we let it.

I think that's one reason why books and movies that deal with immortality do so well: most people fear death and wish they could continue living forever.  I think that's also why ghost stories and tales of the Great Beyond do so well, also.  We fantasize about living eternally or at least having a solid answer as to what comes next.

The truth is, though, we won't know until we get there.  We can speculate, imagine, and fantasize about what lies beyond, but the only way of truly knowing what it will be like is to actually die and cross over.  I think that's why so many people have liked my books so far- The Secret Room and Shadows in the Window have both sold better than I would've imagined.  They both deal with the unknown and the human fear and inquisition of wanting to know what lies beyond death.

I personally believe in a life after death, though I can only speculate on the details of it.  I love ghost stories and tales of the Great Beyond, but most of the time I don't really think about death.  I try to focus on life, love, and enjoying the moments we get here on earth and the people we share them with.

And I leave you with this, a little visit to the Dark Side of the Moon:

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