by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
Now touch my tears with your lips
Touch my world with your fingertips
And we can have forever
And we can love forever
Forever is our today
~Queen; Who Wants to Live Forever
I once knew a guy who was obsessed with vampires. So obsessed, in fact, that he claimed he would gladly and willingly become one if the opportunity was presented. It wasn’t the traditional vampire trappings that appealed to him. He didn’t care about drinking blood or never seeing the light of day. In his mind, those were necessary evils for what he considered to be the ultimate prize – immortality.
I always found this odd, his desire to live forever. Why? Because he was seriously one of the most miserable human beings I’d ever met. He didn’t really have friends. He was at odds with his family. He was always broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. He was given to depression and misery. He was a pathological liar. He was confused about his sexuality. He hated his job. He felt like he was one of life’s victims and that nothing ever went his way. He lived his life in fear of – well – everything. He was a miserable bundle of insecurities, constantly reacting to whatever negative stimulus appeared to come his way.
I’m a pretty happy person who typically enjoys life, and there is no way I’d want to live forever. I’ve looked at it from every angle, and immortality just doesn’t strike me as an attractive option. Forever is a long time.
Vampires seem to be at a peak of popularity right now. True Blood. The Twilight Series. The Vampire Diaries. I am sure there are more of which I am unaware.
When I was growing up, my friends and I would have Friday night slumber parties and watch the horror movies that were inevitably on after midnight – including a number of vampire movies. As a young adult, I read Ann Rice’s Interview with the Vampire series. Even as a kid and young adult, the living forever thing held no appeal for me. Given a choice, I doubt I’d even want to hang around after death as a ghost.
I know that immortality appeals to a lot of people. This isn’t something that I can relate to. Does this mean I have a death wish? Definitely not. But death doesn’t frighten me, and I’m not afraid of what could happen after I am no longer Karen Frazier. The way I figure it, at the very worst there will be nothing. How bad could nothingness be? I’ll be dead. If there’s nothing, then I won’t know it.
A few years ago, I watched a friend die. He embraced death with his arms wide open. It wasn’t that he was eager to leave his many loved ones. But he seemed ready to discover what came next. I learned a lot from him and the way that he chose to die, and it is something that I have thought a lot about since his passing.
Here’s what I think my friend had figured out. There is no forever. There are no guarantees. We only have one thing and that is now. We have no idea what death will bring. But what we do know about is now. We have this moment, and there may not be a next one.
In my opinion, a short life lived fully and without fear beats the heck out of a long life lived in fear of dying. Perhaps the best way to confer immortality really has nothing to do with how long we live, and instead has to do with how we live. We make our marks by living boldly.
I don’t care who you are – everyone has a thing. Each of us has at least one gift that we can share with the world. Each of us has at least one thing that ignites in us a passion that makes the world come alive. Maybe, just maybe it is in these gifts and passions where true immortality lies. Live freely, love fully, embrace your passions. No drinking blood necessary.