coming back from the dead

When you’re dead, you’re dead. That’s what I used to believe. I had it all figured out. Our action and inaction meant nothing. We were put here on this earth by the process of evolution. Given the gift of thought and the capacity to love only because they were necessary for survival. Procreation. Perpetuating the race. I didn’t believe in magic. Had little hope. There was no God. And the dreams that came to me at night were just my brain’s way of filtering out the junk of the day. And so, I ate and ate. And drank and drank. Spent and spent. And fucked and fucked. And got nothing but lonelier and more hollow and angry at the world. And the worst part was even though I got married to a patient, sweet woman and we had two terrific kids, I got angrier and angrier. I knew that family came first. There was no doubt about that. My love for my family has always been strong. But the ups and downs of a normal, daily life with wife and kids were exacerbated and either too high or too low because all I ever thought of was how things weren’t going my way. My job didn’t pay me enough. I wasn’t growing with the company. I wasn’t getting anything published. Nobody wanted to do what I wanted to do. Everything, no matter how great it truly was, seemed like shit. I complained about traffic. I complained about the weather. I complained about how stupid people were. I resigned myself to cynicism and the fact that people just weren’t very smart—definitely not as smart as me—and that it really didn’t bother me if I didn’t last. I could die any moment and didn’t care because the world wouldn’t love me or truly know me until I was gone.

And then, I died. Only for a little while.  But long enough for my world to get turned upside down. Long enough for me to turn my family’s life upside down. And long enough for me to realize that life as I had known it for 40 years was wrong.

There is great magic in hearing the voice of a God telling you that you can go back to your family. That you are in coma but that you can wake and return if you embrace the fact that when you open your eyes in the hospital holding your wife’s hand everything is going to be different. That you’ll see things and hear things that cannot be believed. Not by you. Not by others. But no matter what, you must move ahead—forge on—immersing yourself in the unknown. And if you agree to do this you will be fine. You’ll get to go back to you wife and your kids. You’ll live again.

And that’s what I did.

I am not born again. I’ve not taken any vows. I do not go to church or bang on the Bible. I am just a man, a regular guy, that’s come to realize that everything is important. Every breath, break, pebble and snowflake. Every stroke of the keys. Each tick of the clock. All the tears. The pain. The frustration. In everything there is meaning. And this meaning brings freedom. It gives a man the strength he needs to carry on and believe that no matter what—no matter how terribly wrong things can go—it is for the ultimate good. All of us are meant for greatness, but not many of us can see this because we are too wrapped up in the everyday, afraid—so afraid—to go beneath the surface. To disagree with everything we know and start anew.

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