• Gretel Enck

I'm Glad I'm not Dead



Before you think I’m being flippant, please read this wonderful op-ed piece in today’s New York Times. I read it in bed this morning before the sun even came up, and it moved me.

And then, truly, I am glad I’m not dead. And the opportunities have existed to be dead. Anyone who has made it to my age or older (or younger) has felt the brush, the near miss, the bad decision, the there but for the grace of God go I. And yet, we continue on—more often than not forgetting that every precious moment is a gift. Because it’s overwhelming to be conscious of being alive in every moment. I practice meditation to find a balance to the sleepwalking and the awakening. I move in the direction of awakening, building a toolbox to help me handle the dazzling light of being awake (and with my eventual death).


I had a wonderful time today at the shelter, being as my boss-for-a-day called me: the expediter. I was the one that replaced empty pans with full ones as the servers doled out rolls, butter, cranberry sauce, turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing, asparagus, and gravy. They used real butter in everything; the skin-on mashed potatoes were incredible. From all reports the turkey and gravy were equally rave-worthy. My favorite part was the man who brought his harp and played music for us. I barely got to hear him from the kitchen, but I absolutely loved that he was there.


I should add more to my original statement: Dear reader, I’m glad you’re not dead too, although we will be one day...and that will be OK too. My life is very rich with family and friends. And if you are feeling bereaved today because you have lost someone close, my thoughts are with you and I am terribly sorry. It all goes by so fast, doesn’t it? And so…


We take this day, this small Thursday full of thanks. The emails, the phone calls across the miles, the shared meals, the laughter. We take this day to give thanks that we are not dead, that we are alive, that we are given a new start each day, and that sometimes when you catch it right, all the lights turn green.

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