Sometime last year I was researching what it was like to get sick as an adult. Not just the kind of sick that leaves you confined to a bed binging on some random show via Netflix. I am talking about something that affects your health in a big way. I read about a 20-something who got cancer but what she spoke about was the mental aspect. Which I get. You hear you have cancer and your mind instantly goes numb. You think death is in the driveway warming the car. It’s a diagnosis that comes with very little good news when you first get it because whether you caught it early enough or not, it’s still in you.
Death is a normal part of life. We all remember the first time our parents sat us down to explain it and for some it was daunting, but think about being a kid growing up in the world presented by The Walking Dead. Death isn’t just a normalcy there, it’s literally something to face on a day to day basis. The characters in this show are as fearful as any of us watching would be, but that only makes them want to live more and survive. And while it seems like dying has become so expected to them, they still seem to have a hard time saying goodbye to those they love when the time comes, but unlike in a world where death isn’t everywhere, they seem to move on a lot faster than those of us watching ever could.
News stories about cars going off the road and plowing down pedestrians. Those make me the most cautious walker ever. I am constantly fearful when I go down the street to Target because as much as you trust yourself, you cannot be too sure of the speeding cars passing by. One bad driver and that’d be it. I’d be dead and then what? The idea of not being here tomorrow mixed with the fact that we just don’t know if there’s anything after our lights go out – FEAR. Death is my number one after gorillas and alligators (they’re tied and look – my fear of them came way before their 2016 breaking news). Perhaps because it’s so permanent, but possibly because I’d be missing out on what came after I was gone.
Have you ever written and deleted something a dozen times before committing? That’s how this intro came to be, and I’m sure James Shotwell can attest to that as well. As a fellow writer who founded Under The Gun Review, but has since moved on to being the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Haulix – he knows the power of the written word and I’m sure is familiar with drafting something up over and over again. Because again, that’s how this started out. That’s because the topic I am grateful James was willing to talk about today is not an easy one.
This week is about death and James has not lost a family member by blood, but instead a friend he met in college who came to be less than a friend and more of a brother. Not all of us are lucky enough to find a friend like that in life, but James was. Sadly though, his brother from another mother Justin passed away a couple of years ago now, and the following explores the day James found out, his outlook on death and more.