Dead

Dead: (adj) no longer living; deprived of life

This can’t be the definition: “No longer living, deprived of life.”

Simply stated, the definition of “dead” is “not breathing.”

For I will tell you—I meet people all the time who are no longer living and certainly seem to be deprived of life.

But they’re still sucking up air.

And they’re often taking that air to spray the contents of the room with negativity, prejudice or snobbery.

Long before we die, some die.

And if we’re still alive when we stop breathing, there’s very little about us that can truthfully be dead.

If our name evokes a smile, if reading a bit of correspondence we sent brings a tear, and if our picture on the wall hearkens to jubilant times, it’s hard to pronounce us dead.

No tomb exists for brilliance.

So what kills us?

What causes us to give up on living long before we give up on breathing?

On the other hand, what would prompt someone to desire to stay alive to the centennial birthday, just to bitch and complain about living conditions?

So I don’t know whether elongated breathing time is a blessing or a curse. If your life is miserable, it is extending the misery, which may just be simulating spending three days in hell.

And if you’re overjoyed—on your way to make love and change the world—and you get hit by a semi, your breathing is snuffed but your living soars on.

I have no desire to be philosophical in this matter and I’m not trying to root out an existential truth to make you think I’m deep and cerebral.

I just choose to believe that dying happens when we stop breathing.

But we can never truly be dead if we have a grasp of greatness …

… and a sense of the significant.

Asthma

Asthma: (n) a respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing.dictionary with letter A

ne of the sure signs of dying is difficulty in breathing, which is followed by the surest sign of dying, which is not breathing.

So I can’t imagine a more terrifying condition than asthma, which simulates your death for you over and over again, just in case you forgot what it might be like.

I’ve only had shortness of breath once or twice in my life, and I can tell you, it was mortifying.

Death would not be so bad if you didn’t have to stop breathing. The body just downright objects to that.

I have been underwater for a few more seconds than my lungs appreciated, trying to surface, praying prayers in every single language I knew, including a few I made up, desperately paddling my way to get to oxygen again.

I think because movies have treated asthma as a condition which is handled with an inhaler or some sort of medication, we don’t really pick up how horrifying it must be to be unable to get air into your lungs.

So all of my concern and prayers go out to those who experience this condition, and have been victimized by it–and also a quick prayer for a cure.

I like to breathe.

When I was a kid I didn’t even enjoy going under water and holding my breath to compete with others, to see who could last the longest. I’ve never participated in a contest while going through a tunnel to see who could hold their breath through the whole experience.

I’m pretty well addicted to about 45 inhales and exhales every minute.

 

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