I have suffered in the most profound and rare imaginable way. Such a way that hardly any man can possibly experience and that none can comprehend without sharing the experience no matter how much empathy one can command. I had the burden of surviving death. Twice. Twice I’ve overdosed, flat-lined, ceased to breath, and my consciousness was no longer available to me. I was fortunate enough to have been resuscitated by both my father and my baby sister. However, I was tortured by having to watch the impact that my death had on my loved ones. I watched that awful film twice in one month and suffered enough for two lifetimes. I cannot clean the blood that they cannot help but feel is on their hands to this day. So, if there is an Ultimate Justice, a Supreme Being who will punish me for my lack of faith, who watched my mother pray for the peace of mind and sat back and firmly answered, “no,” I shall meet him. He shall have me tortured for eternity. And suppose He sees that I’m ready, suppose He gives me one more chance at eternal bliss over fire and brimstone. I will look Him in the eye and say, to paraphrase Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, “was that suffering? Well then, once more!” For there are ways in which I am free that none but those with a proper spine will ever be. I’d pray that no one ever experiences this but I know what the answers to those prayers will be already. Indifference.
-Stephen J. Dawson Jr.