I heard my own funeral. I heard the voices of my family, friends, and the priest. I heard sobs and the usage of handkerchiefs, umbrellas opening, the rain pouring down; pounding the recently disturbed soil. I heard the quick succession of the five stages of loss as I was buried six feet under. It was happening so fast that the grievers could barely catch their breath. I struggled to breathe and compose myself, trying not to waste the limited Oxygen supply that I then realized is such a precious thing. It is all too often taken for granted, much like life itself. I could tell my time was running out. At least it was comforting to hear what people were saying about me. I closed my eyes for a while – funerals are long, about as long-winded as the priest becomes after a while. I waited for that silence, that telltale sign that the ceremony is coming to an end. I began kicking and screaming, “Help! I’m not dead for Christ’s sake! I’m not ready to die...” I guess I got their attention.
The last thing I heard was the priest yell, “Dig her out! She’s alive!” and I finally let go. I felt a peaceful light begin to shine and consume me, a gradual weightlessness as they threw the earth off me with haste; as I slowly rose to the surface.
I had a relatively normal childhood. Didn’t go to preschool, but I made friends through other activities until I was old enough to start Kindergarten. My parents quickly realized as I went through my elementary school years that my cognitive ability exceeded many of my peers. I would write immaculate stories displaying my wild imagination, help my father fix things, and read beyond my age group – all proving that I was creative and artistic. And once I was old enough to become more self-aware, I soon noticed that I was different from many others, too. It was a joy to my parents to have such a smart kid in elementary school, but my higher maturity level became a problem in my middle years.
The bullying was fully extinguished once I hit grade ten. It was hard enough to transition into high school from middle school, never mind going into it already being cut off from the cliquey socialization right from the start. I felt like I didn’t stand a chance. I never really went to any great lengths to fit in, but I still envied my fellow peers; although it seemed that spending any amount of time knocking myself down to their level of maturity wasn’t too appealing to me. My high school was well known for being one of the smallest in the city, and one that was overpopulated with privileged suburban teens who thought they had it rough. I came from the country and I swear that I had and always will have more brain cells than those idiots. The drug abuse didn’t help their pitiful cases either. I never really felt the urge to partake in their habitual use of God knows what substances; I didn’t even remotely want to try it. Not until after I graduated, at least.
I didn’t get drunk for the first time until I was well into my eighteenth year. Of course I drank alcohol before, but never to the point of blacking out and memory loss. The night I had finally accomplished this too often practiced activity among others my age, I was at a friend’s house. With no parental supervision, or control of any sort for that matter, the party quickly got out of hand. That night was filled with way too much alcohol, too much unprotected sex, and unsurprisingly, a plethora of drugs to choose from. I was already highly intoxicated when a stranger approached me and offered the latest drug circulating around the city. It was called “Transcenda,” and the list of effects that the guy had rifled off to me was enough to convince me in the state I was in. After all, I was an adult; I could make my own choices. I took it, and within a half hour, my whole world turned upside down.
I went unconscious and it felt like I had an out of body experience. I peered down at my own seemingly lifeless body, helpless as the ambulance whisked me away. I was rushed into the ER on a stretcher; my parents were already notified and waiting for my unresponsive body to arrive. I was in some sort of comatose state, but one in which my heartbeat was undetectable to the paramedics and nurses. From what they could tell, there was no sign of life in me. They pronounced me “Dead on Arrival,” as my soul screamed at my body, violently attempting to shake it back to consciousness. The drug definitely transcended me in many ways: to a zero gravity realm where my soul floated aimlessly, as well as spiralling into a purgatory-like world.
My soul didn’t re-enter my physical body until I was buried alive. And by then, I had come to the conclusion that witnessing my own funeral was my fate, and that any effort to be heard was futile. I couldn’t be saved by the living; this was my ending.