Recently, I was asked by a friend for some help on a script he was writing. We spent hours discussing the plot and what emotion he was trying to invoke from his audience. This lead to an interesting thought. My experience in life has altered my reaction to things differently than most.
Let me explain.
I was around the age of four when I first experienced death. My very first memory was playing checkers with my grandfather. The second memory is of me being held by my father at his funeral. The third is when we’re back at the house and I was crying because I was afraid I was going to die. My mother had to explain death to me when I was four. I cannot even imagine how difficult that was to explain.
Ever since then, death was always a part of my life. In the middle of my back, I have a tattoo of a wolf with ravens coming out of the tail. Each raven represents someone who has passed away. Currently, there are about 12 [I need to add 6 more]. The death of my grandfather was such an impact on me, that I haven’t really let it go. So, I mark myself so I won’t forget all of those who I’ve lost in this lifetime.
While listening to my friend describe the plot of his story and what emotion he was trying to get from his audience, a thought occurred to me. I had to stop him and ask, “When was the first time you experienced death?” I asked because it was plot relevant. He told me he hadn’t experienced a death close to him until he was at least in middle/high school [if I’m remembering correctly]. That shocked me. And explained the gap in some of the story.
My mind couldn’t wrap around that kind of innocence. It was such a foreign concept to me.
Although we aren’t defined by our past, we change as we experience life. Things began to alter for me at a young age because of the death of my grandfather and the questions I had with it. It made me wonder, would Dead Dreamer even exist if I hadn’t experienced that tragedy. And the many more I have experienced since then.
Death is an old friend. Whom, one day, I would greet on my own. Until then I continue to tell the stories of the dead and the living. To live a life worth living, so when my friend arrives, I’ll be old and ready.