Social Question

gypsywench's avatar

Have you ever been faced with your own mortality?

Asked by gypsywench (1631points) August 2nd, 2010

Ever been in a situation were you had a close call with death? How did it change your outlook on life?

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43 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

More than once and as recently as one year ago.
I know that life is too short and it can be taken away when you least expect it,so find a way to be happy :)

perspicacious's avatar

We are fragile and death is always close by.

superneil21's avatar

hell yeah last December some guy pulled out right in front of me i swerved to miss and went thru a pole at 70 and totaled my truck. Made me hate people lol

Berserker's avatar

I’ve faced death three times, but maybe not from up close up enough to have it really change anything in me, that I noticed, at least.

filmfann's avatar

I was once diagnosed with Cancer, and figured I was dying for the 45 minutes it took to see the specialist, who said the original doctor was an idiot.
I also was hit head on by a (texting) driver. Totalled my beloved Subaru.
The Cancer thing didn’t phase me at all.
The accident caused me to return to therapy for a while.

Cruiser's avatar

I have almost met the grim reaper 8 times in my life and I had 2 other stand out moments, one where I was misdiagnosed with MS that royally sucked (no offense to anyone who actually has that disease). So aside from living this long and because I have lived as long as I have, last November it hit me that Life Is Too Short….it really and truly is. And no matter if I have one more day, one more week or 10 more years….that just isn’t enough to do all I want to do so I choose to live each day like there is no tomorrow!

evandad's avatar

@perspicacious – A perfect response to the question.

BoBo1946's avatar

yes, read the serial numbers on the front of a train once!

CaptainHarley's avatar

I’ve had so many close calls that I lost track of them.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I almost drowned when I was 17. River accident, stuck in current, wedged underwater against a giant rock. Not good. (Obviously I made it out, LOL.) Later, I felt a real sense of peace and understanding something like “Hey, what’s going to happen will happen and there’s no stopping it. So whatever!”

MaryW's avatar

Yes several times.
Make sure both your path and anyone who crosses your path is better for it.
Be always ready in your soul to leave… and Have a Great Day!

ItsAHabit's avatar

Yes, several times.

woodcutter's avatar

i know there have been a few but they were long enough ago that I’ve forgotten them. One of the few benefits of getting old suppose.

whitenoise's avatar

Yes, I have had some close calls. On various occasions, actually.

For instance: once we were sitting on a 2-meter-at-the-tallest island (Caye Caulker, Belize) when a category five hurricane came from the north and miraculously moved its eye right above us, stayed there for over 4 hours and then graciously went back, over the same path that it had come. That grace saved us from the four meter storm surge on the Northern side of the storm. In the prelude, we had two days of hiding in our make shift shelter and waiting for that surge to come and likely to drown. Gladly enough, however, we survived.

It didn’t imapct me as much. Sure I now have fear of hurricanes, but the impact was by far not so startling and live changing, as when I was confronted with the mortality of my children.

When my wife was pregnant for 25 weeks, we (she) had our first sonogram. It was then that we found out that we were going to have twins. Startled initially, I told the doctor after five minutes, that it actually seemed a very attractive idea. The doctor’s response was that he wasn’t as happy as I was and that he feared that they were going to die, since he suspected them of having Twin-to-twin-Transfusion-Syndrom (TTTS).

Weeks 26 through 32 of my wife’s pregnancy were hell for us. It made me realize that I had become more vulnerable than I had ever been to the fear of death. (Everybody that knows a bit about me, knows that all turned out well and that I have a set of two dapper young lads.)

In anyway, ever since, I still get startled when one my kids almost kills himself crossing the street, or falling from the top bed, or choking on a ‘pepernoot’. It is part of life, I know, but fear of death for me primarily is by proxy for the fear of my children’s lives.

Good thing they proof pretty indestructible, so far..

JLeslie's avatar

I had one time in my life where I really thought I might die. I had been sick, and the treatment was causing a severe allergic response. I kept taking the medicine because I was desperate. I asked my mother-in-law to sleep with me that night, literally in my bed (my husband was out of the country working) because I though I might die in my sleep. What I learned from it was doctors can be horrible, not taking patients seriously. I tried to call my doctor 3 times, telling the nurse I was having a bad reaction, and the doctor never called me back. I realized I have to take control of my healthcare, because if my illness is a difficult confusing case, and if I question too much, I am just labelled a pain in the neck patient.

I wound up in the ER eventually days later. The doctor there dumped steroids into my vein to counteract my allergic reaction.

After getting significantly better physically, I realized how special a day without pain is, and that if you pause every time you feel happiness and really acknowledge the moment of glee, it lasts longer.

Ron_C's avatar

In 2001 I was told that I had a possible tumor, cataracts, unrepairable vein damage (with unremitting pain) and some other ailments that would shorten my life.

Of course, when my Dad was 62 he was told that he had a melanoma with 6 months to live.

I cried a little on both occasions then worked to see what was true and how to repair the damage. Well, my Dad outlived the doctor by about 15 years and died when he was 92 (not from cancer).

I’m still around, working and traveling the world. It takes a lot to kill the people of my family. I can say that I was resigned not to accept chemotherapy and would not submit to a partial life with little pieces being removed on a regular basis. Fortunately none of that was necessary. I found that I feared extended pain and loss of dignity more than death. I still do. I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live as a permanent invalid.

Since that time, the pain is more or less under control and I have had a couple near death experiences because allergic reactions. I also see the doctor (reluctantly) more often but it is for maintenance and accident repair and fortunately no serious problems. I figure I have at least another 30 years left and I intend to go places, do my job and have as much fun as possible

Neizvestnaya's avatar

More than once and each time I had a renewed appreciation for living and greater drive for the things I wanted not yet had.

janedelila's avatar

Oh I choked on a dried apple last year. Was heading for my front door to get help from anywhere, blacked out. Woke up on the sidewalk throwing up. Very scary.

AstroChuck's avatar

My first marriage was death. Does that count?

janedelila's avatar

@AstroChuck hell ya that counts!! I almost forgot about that. Ok so that’s two for me…

Jabe73's avatar

I had quite a few brushes with death but it never really changed the way I live. The only difference was that I do not take the simple things in life for granted anymore.

Ultima's avatar

Yes quite a few times.

jerv's avatar

Often enough to be jaded about near-death experiences.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Several times, the last only two weeks ago when I almost didn’t wake up after surgery.

JilltheTooth's avatar

A couple of times. I don’t fear Death (don’t seek it, either), I no longer tolerate fools, but I have a much greater tolerance for simple human failing, and for some reason I can’t fathom, heavy traffic doesn’t phase me anymore. I think chemo burned out the “traffic frustration center” of my brain :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

You guys are scaring me.

CaptainHarley's avatar

LOL @Dutchess_III

The only thing in life you need to be afraid of is the face in the mirror. : )

Ron_C's avatar

I just though of another brush with death. I was at the radar site and managed go get the pen in my pocked across the 24,000 volts line to a CRT. It knocked me right out, The guys said it was a good thing I started breathing on my own because nobody was willing to do mouth to mouth.

I didn’t have time to be afraid of dying, everything went to the blackest black that I have ever experienced. I felt like someone hit me on the back of the neck with a hammer and that’s all I remember until I woke up on the couch.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I rest my case. Very, very glad you weren’t permanently damaged.

Ron_C's avatar

@CaptainHarley yeah, i find myself in situations like that all the time. I went to a warehouse in Siagon one day to pick up parts and spent the night on the roof hiding from the VC. The stupid storekeeper that was with me wanted to give up. I kept a .45 in case of eminent capture. I knew about McCain and the guys in the Hanoi Hilton. Not me!

CaptainHarley's avatar


I was almost captured twice when I was in counterinsurgency ops. I do not remember being very amused! Heh!

Ron_C's avatar

@CaptainHarley I didn’t consider myself really military. I was the traveling electronics technician for most of South Vietnam. I had two years of electronics and two weeks of boot camp and had only shot a .22 before I went in country.

When we got back, I was in an Acey-Ducey club in Northwest security station I was thrown out for saying that if I was captured, the VC would have to beat me to make me stop talking. The Master at Arms didn’t think it was funny.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m scared.

A coworker/friend of mine told us this today at staff meeting. We live in Kansas. We’ve had a LOT of rain. Well, they live on a small river, and they have a mile stretch of river that they float down, in an inner tube, quite often just…because. They float to the “Low water bridge.” Well, her 17 year old daughter and 17 year old niece went floating last week….and got hit by a flash flood. The niece went over the low water bridge, but the turbulence after that threw her off the inner tube. Her daughter, however, was sucked under and through some drain tubes that run under the low water bridge! Oh Lord! Can you imagine? They managed to fetch up on a low bend in the river, hanging on to brances, and the daughter actually had her cell phone with her, in a baggie, and was able to call her mom. Mom went flying out there. She said there was a cowboy on the other side of the river, where the girls were and she started screaming at him. Mom said, “Have you ever seen a COWBOY run flat out? I mean, he had on his hat, boots, chaps, probably spurs….and he set a land speed record. He got to his truck, got a bull rope out of his tool box and flew back to the girls. He had to jump a barbed-wire fence and he cleared it like an Olympic champ….” EMS eventually got there, but the cowboy had the girls out by then.

It makes me ill to think of one of my kids being in a situation like that….being sucked underwater into a tunnel??? The daughter said, “Mom….we were just floating along, when we heard It coming up behind us, and it was so loud….and then it hit us, and there was nothing we could do….”

CaptainHarley's avatar


I honestly have no idea how I would have handled a situation like that ( being captured ).

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@CaptainHarley I decided, after SERE training, that I’d never allow myself to be captured. Always carried an extra round or a frag as a “final friend”.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I know a number of guys who did the same thing. I suppose that my mind shied away from the entire topic of being captured, even though I was almost captured twice. I suspect it’s one of my coping mechanisims. By not allowing myself to focus on worst case scenarios, I can devote more of my attention to the mission at hand. Make sense? : )

Ron_C's avatar

@Dutchess_III wow what a story!
@CaptainHarley even as a teenager, I planned ahead. I am pretty convinced that I would have pulled the trigger before the bad guys laid a hand on me.

CaptainHarley's avatar


That would have been a waste. I am of the opinion that as long as you’re still alive, there’s hope for escape or recovry of some sort.

Ron_C's avatar

@CaptainHarley I think that this life is all that there is. When I am gone the only thing left of me are my children and their children and the impression(s) I left on other people. I do not see the point of living a life in perpetual pain or being severely mentally or physical disabled.

That is my personal choice, If another person chooses to continue on in that condition, more power to them because that is their choice.

In the case of having a miserable ending, I intend to take a short cut, legal or not.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I understand.

Justice13's avatar

Every day I wake up and the first thing I say is ‘Memento Mori”, so I don’t really count.

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