This weekend, as a part of efforts to drive traffic to my pro page on Facebook, I was planting earworms and such on my personal page. One of these was DOA, a song that most consider quite the earworm, and for good reason.
I can remember when the song came out, and that it generated some discussion if not controversy. I vaguely remember some stuff about the sirens, and confusing people. I remember discussion of if it was about kids driving fast (as some tried to claim), or if it was about an aircraft accident (which i thought it was, and the band said it was; or about a spacecraft accident, which was a bit of a daydream of mine).
To give some background, I was not expected to live because of allergies and such, and was constantly reminded of that and not to do anything that could undo all the good work being done to keep me alive (my mom was a touch over-protective, to be polite). So, my take on the song was a bit different than most. I both loved and hated the death imagery, as I thought constantly about dying and what it would mean, courtesy of all the reminders I got. Yeah, I was goth long before there was goth and it became cool.
The thought of dying bothered me on many levels, from separation anxiety to the thought of all I would not get to do if I died. Even then, I had a bucket list, though I didn’t think of it that way. I just knew that I wanted to do a lot of things, from exploring girls to scaling mountains. It was not a little list, let me assure you.
That’s why one line in that song really bothered me. In it, the singer cries out “God in heaven, teach me how to die!”
Dying was easy, it was the easy way out, it was the thing to be avoided at all costs in my life (according to mom, at any rate). It was what I wanted to avoid, because of all the things I wanted to do. It was the thing that scared me.
To my mind then, and even more so now, that prayer, that call should not be teach me how to die, it should be “God in Heaven, teach me how to live!”
Teach me how to have the strength to hold on, to fight for life, to find a way to beat the odds and live. Teach me how to make the most of what time I have, to do the most with it, and accomplish good things in my life.
I have never believed that I needed to call up on God to teach me how to die. There are millions of way to die. It will come, one way or another.
No, if I offered up a prayer for such, it was and would be “God in Heaven, give me the courage to die.” Give me the courage to face death, to say “Come now Lady Death” and face it unflinching. To stand before my enemies and to take as many with me as I can should that be the way I die. To deal with the pain, of which there was so much in life, and not scream and cry at that, or the unfairness of it all (and trust me, I did think it most unfair to me or any like me).
Despite my thoughts on what awaits, I do not like the thought of dying to this day. Death does not scare me as it once did, though my list still has a lot left to accomplish. Death is but a door, and that which awaits I accept. The process of dying is something I would just as soon skip if possible. My hope, my prayer, is that I will have the courage to face it calmly, that it is not too painful and to cope if it is, to appreciate all that I have done in life, and face whatever comes unflinchingly.
Listening to the song this weekend reminded me of that, and of my early angst and thought. I think it one worth sharing — for we do need to learn to live, and have courage in the face of death.