Saturday, January 12, 2008


What does it feel like to drown? Is it horrible? Is it peaceful? What does the sensation of water flooding your lungs feel like? What does it feel like to make that last, frantic attempt to draw a breath, only to have your chest fill with water? I doubt that it's peaceful. Drowning can typically be described as a five stage process: Surprise, Involuntary breath holding, Unconsciousness, Hypoxic Convulsions (involuntary rigidity and "jerking"), and the end result-- clinical death.

My mother died of drowning as a child. I know...that doesn't make sense. She's got the newspaper article to prove it (from back in the days when the newspapers stuck to reporting the facts). She went through all five stages of drowning and was, thankfully, revived by some very aggressive life-saving procedures. If she hadn't been brought back to the group that we call "the living," I wouldn't be here, and I never would have known her.

I've given much thought to this over the years. Did that traumatic event affect her life? Is part of who she is a product of that event? What did she see when she was "dead"? Did she see anything, or did she just cease to think and perceive things?

An alarming number of children die as a result of drowning every year. It's one of the most preventable methods of death that we face, yet, it continues to happen. The scary part is that we cannot supervise our children every second of every day. Bad stuff happens to good people--it's a fact of life.

The "near death" thing is very interesting though; it's a shame that you can't catch that stuff on video to share later.

After reading a few articles about the process of drowning, I think that I'd much rather go out via a quicker method.

Food for thought.

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