Fourteen years ago today, I lay in a hospital bed, bleeding to death slowly, slipping away from this existence into the depts of untold darkness. In an effort to maintain my life force, doctors and nurses searched frantically in vain for a blood vessel. Needles pierced my skin over and over to no avail. Slowly, slowly, I was slipping away. I'd lost too much blood. I was in shock. I fell into a deep unconsciousness, feeding into dreams of deceased family members and the years of my existence up to that point in time. I saw it all flashing before my eyes. I'd had a troubled life, but I had a good life too.
I died that day, in more ways than one.
Finally, the nurses gave up on finding a vein in my arm or legs. They tried the backs of my hands and feet. But I had lost far too much blood. My veins were collapsing. There was nowhere else to turn. They pulled out the major tools then, and without batting an eyelash, they pierced my chest between the ribs, bore through cartilage and forced a tube into my heart. I had already died at that point, but the blood being rushed directly into my body and warmed only inches from my heart before being forced through that ventriculating muscle saved my life. It also changed me as a human being. A part of my soul escaped as that plastic tubing did all it could to resurrect my life.
To this day I carry a tiny scar over my heart, both physically and emotionally. I keep it guarded at all costs. I felt pain that day unlike any pain I'd ever known in my life. I never wanted to know Death by name again. I never wanted to see the face of the Reaper take the form of my Grandfather within my dreams again. I never wanted to loose my life again. And yet a piece of me died that day. A piece I'll never get back for as long as I live.
It happened fourteen years ago today.