The Other I

March 19, 2010

Shock vs surprise

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 10:25 pm

I got a message through our family list serve last night that my younger (younger!) brother had been rushed to hospital with a heart attack.  I’ve talked to him and he hopes to be home in several days, so the news isn’t nearly as traumatic as it could have been.

But even a brush like this with our mortality comes as a shock.  Actually, there are many of us in the family who have already lived long and full lives, and this kind of news is going to start coming.  So it wasn’t exactly a surprise.

But I realized again that surprise and shock are completely different things.  Knowing that death is coming does very little to reduce shock when it does.  It’s like preparing oneself for a slap in the face or stepping into a freezing shower.  Knowing that it’s coming doesn’t make it less shocking when it does.

I really haven’t the slightest idea of how to reduce its impact.  It’s certain that I and everyone I know and love – and don’t know and don’t love, for that matter – are going to die.

But somehow it’s such a shock.

We were made to live.  I think perhaps a time comes when one realizes – really deep down from within the depths of oneself – that it’s time to go.  But I must admit I haven’t found it in myself yet.



  1. Sorry to hear about your brother. I wish him a speedy recovery.


    Comment by djc1 — March 20, 2010 @ 3:16 am | Reply

    • Thank you. My brother is now home, and seems to be revving up for a renewed attack on life. Life, after all, is for living, isn’t it?


      Comment by theotheri — March 21, 2010 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

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