Eminent death, closure, and the top of the roller coaster

I feel like I’m about to die, mildly.

Like have you ever wondered what it would feel like to hear that diagnosis, the one that says you only have a year or a month or even a week to live? What would that feel like, not the dying part, the “living with that knowledge” part? Assuming you’re not in pain, assuming you’re able to pretty much carry on as normal until you die, what would that be like?

Thankfully, I haven’t experienced that yet. The closest I’ve come to it, though, is what I’m feeling right now.

I feel like when I move to Korea, everything is going to change for me, forever. I feel like there won’t be any going back. Sure, I can return to America, but that’s not what I mean. I mean who I am right now – I won’t be able to return to that once I leave.

All the goodbyes. All the hugs. All the packing. It brings a sense of closure to life.

I think that’s what I’m feeling right now: closure. Like the tired metaphor of a chapter in life, I feel like I’m closing one and about to start another new one. Or maybe it’s bigger than that. Maybe it’s more like starting a new book.

Either way, it’s a giant thrill, a mixture between anticipation and, well, anxiety. But not anxiety in a bad way, more like jitteriness, like as you click, click, click to the top of a roller coaster.

So what do you think in those last few clicks?

What do you write in the last few pages of the chapter?

What do you feel in the last few days of your life?

Right now, I definitely appreciate more. Final farewells from friends for example. Right now, I definitely notice more. I can recall conversations almost word for word. Right now, I definitely have a heightened awareness of what seems important to me.

I think that’s why it feels like eminent death to me, or at least what I imagine eminent death to feel like. It’s not painful – it’s peaceful, like closure. It’s not scary – it’s exhilarating, like the top of the roller coaster.

The scary part is getting to the top. The ride is getting down.

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