Twenty-seven: The Year of My Death


The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. – Mark Twain

From as young as I can remember, I was convinced that I would die on my 27th birthday. It started out as a dream I would have several times a week and after a while I started to believe it and daydream about it when I was awake.

I didn’t know how I was going to die, it was different every time I dreamt about it, I just knew that my 27th birthday would be my last day alive.

The funny thing was, I wasn’t scared, I just accepted it as fact.

I told everyone about it, I wasn’t embarrassed about it. My friends made fun of me, my brother said I was stupid and my parents got mad because they said a Jehovah’s Witness didn’t talk about things like that. I even got called before the “Elders” of my congregation and lectured about it.

Nothing anyone said made me change my mind about it. I knew it would happen and there was nothing they could do to change my mind about it.

When I moved out of my house, and I didn’t have my parents or the Witnesses telling me what to do anymore, I decided I was going to try everything at least once before my death.

So I set out to try every drug that was available, even the bad ones like PCP and Meth. I slept with every woman I met who was willing, even though I was married since 18. I ate whatever I wanted. I drank everything I could get my hands on.

I left no stone unturned.

As the day got closer, the more I looked forward to it. Each year on my birthday, I would go through my “bucket list” and figure out what I would check off for that year.

I never did get to travel like I wanted to, and I never got to sleep with Madonna. Those two remained unchecked on my list. But, I did check off a fair amount of things anyway.

As the day approached, I got more and more excited about it. I felt this strange sense of satisfaction that I wasn’t like everyone else, I knew when I would die.

Finally, the day of my death arrived. I remember sitting at home smoking a whole bag of weed and finishing off most of a case of beer. I didn’t go out and party with friends, I sat at home and waited. I wrote letters to everyone I cared about and talked to my parents on the phone for a few hours.

I was ready to go, I just hoped it wouldn’t be painful.

But something terrible happened. I woke up the day after my birthday and realized I was still alive. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I spiraled down into a deep depression and stayed there for a few weeks. I felt cheated somehow. I wanted to be dead, I had looked forward to it my whole life.

I always felt special that I knew when I was going to die, and when I didn’t, I had to realize that I was just like everyone else. I would have to wait for my death never knowing when it might happen.

It’s weird of me I know, but knowing what I know now about the rest of my life after 27 makes me wish I had really died that day.

It would have saved me much pain and anguish.


This post is in response to the Daily Posts’ Weekly Prompt: Golden Years.


4 thoughts on “Twenty-seven: The Year of My Death

  1. What a strong, vivid experience! I can imagine why you felt so disappointed. Thanks for helping me finally understand the Twain quote, which had never made sense until now.

  2. It’s crazy that i understand your “death wish.” I’ve had it, too. The first time I had it was at age 10. Now I feel sad about it. To know that internal pain can be so bad that you want to leave the world. In more recent years I feel I haven’t gone anywhere because I’m not done with whatever I’m here for.

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