What Happens If You Don’t Die?

What happens if you don’t die when you think you will?

7 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer.
6 years ago it came back stronger than ever after chemo.
5 years ago I got a different cancer as a result of treating the first cancers.
4 years ago my wife died of a sudden heart attack.
3 years ago I started on bi-weekly infusions to plug the holes in my immune system after a half-dozen bouts of pneumonia.

Throw in a bone marrow transplant, a serious car accident and multiple surgeries for good measure.

Despite this terminal trajectory I’m still here.

Go figure.

So, what does happen if you don’t die when you think you will?


Life goes on (as it will even after you do check out). At first you just survive. Family and friends make a huge difference, if you are fortunate enough to have them. The passage of time helps. Your perspective changes—or it should:

people become more precious
you get more out of ordinary events
you care less about stuff and more about experiences
you delve more deeply into the spiritual aspects of life

You may have dodged a bullet but the Grim Reaper never runs out of ammo. Death gets you in the end as surely as it picks off family and friends along the way.

Until it’s your turn, live in the now because yesterday never changes and tomorrow never comes.

First, survive.
Then, live.
Then, live for, and with, others.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

– Steve Jobs

5 thoughts on “What Happens If You Don’t Die?

  1. Great, great ruminations Mike. We who know you and love you are all better because you not only survived your multiple near death experiences and heart wrenching tragedies but you somehow grew deeper and embraced life in a way that is inspiring; AND you can still laugh with and at life!

  2. Well, I’m glad you’re still here to write this post! It sounds like you’ve been through an awful lot and I’m very sorry to hear that. Wishing you good health in the future!

  3. Not only are you still here after all of that, you are newly married and DANCING. 🙂 Praise the Lord for the joy after the many storms in your life, Mike. God is good ALL the time.

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