From earthquakes in Nepal to gunfire in Texas, there's been no shortage of tragic news lately (there rarely is). Since it's all discussed at such great lengths elsewhere, I don't talk much about those events here, but I do want to consider for a minute last March's plane crash in the Alps.
I don't mean to be unpleasant, I don't want to sound morbid, and I most certainly don't intend to be disrespectful to the victims of that tragedy, but what would it have been like to have been on that plane? Imagine you're a passenger on that flight, and having boarded in Barcelona, you fall asleep, thinking that you'll awaken in Düsseldorf. But you awaken due to some commotion, look out the window, and realize that you're about to crash into a mountain.
What goes through your head at that moment, knowing you have only seconds left to live? Do you wish that you had made more money, or had a bigger house, or had spent more time at work? Or do you regret not having hugged your child before you left for your flight or for failing to have expressed your love to your partner? Do you experience anger at the pilot, the plane, or the airline, or does the anticipation of the imminent discovery of what happens after life is over fill you with awe? Does sheer terror drive every coherent thought from your head, or does acceptance allow you to experience a poignant, peaceful end?
The questions really come down to what do you do when you suddenly realize that death is unavoidable, and how does that moment differ from your life right now?