I feel like I must be a robot or something. I was in a rather remarkable auto accident six years ago, which involved me accidentally piloting an old Honda Accord off of a 50-foot drop-off at 80 m.p.h. In the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. At midnight on a Thursday.
Somehow, after an airborne flight that took out trees mid-trunk, and left the car crumpled from every direction into a tangled mess of steel, I was able to climb out, crawl up the embankment, and walk half a mile before finally being able to get help.
Though I looked like a mess, and the paramedics who saw the crash site were split between amazement and a conviction that I must have some sort of severe internal injury, I managed to escape with nothing but some superficial cuts, and a broken collarbone.
But I never experienced the sort of euphoria or feeling of a “second chance” that you describe. If anything, I was actually rather irritated that the accident prevented me from taking a job offer I’d received and was unable to delay.
Is it because I’m a strict atheist? Is it because my fascination with probability and quantum mechanics have rendered me amused, but never shocked, by the most bizarre occurrences? I’m not sure. I just know that all I have control over are my own actions and responses — and even those are as likely to be guided by instinctual reaction as by any conscious effort.
Death is nothing to be terrified of. What goes up, must come down. What is born, must die. It’s beyond my understanding why anyone would need a near-death experience to realize this, or to appreciate the joys of living we only get to experience for such a finite time.
— Posted by Dave