those that drowned say later


those that drowned say later
the drop from wading
to water overhead
is sudden
& not expected

feet seeking bottom
climb a ladder without rungs

they gasp
at the shock of it
& then sleep

there is no pain

only bewilderment

then peace

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17 thoughts on “those that drowned say later

  1. I don’t remember where I read it, but I remember reading testimony from a man who had been badly mauled by a lion. Apparently he stopped feeling the pain while it was happening and then, of course, he blacked out.

    I have heard it said that we can become disconnected from extreme pain when we are dying. I wonder. . . It certainly is not one of those hypotheses I want to test but the thought does give me comfort.

  2. Rhonda

    I’ve heard it said that this is a peaceful way to go, as such things go anyway. maybe it’s the return to whence we came. we are born from fluid…maybe it’s familiar?

  3. When I was 4 – I remember being at a beach. There was a big slide into the water and I wanted to go down. My aunt said she would catch me. I joined the line and climbed up. When it was my turn I stood briefly at the top waiting for my aunt – and someone behind me wanting their turn spoke loudly “get going kid…” And pushed me so hard I flew and flipped in air. Landing with a sploosh far below – and sinking down down into sparkling pale green coolness. I had no idea which way was up. All I remember is it didn’t matter. It was beautiful and overwhelmingly peaceful and invitingly calm. Darkness narrowing my vision into brilliant points of compelling light. Next thing I remember is coughing and coughing and coughing as my aunt rocked me in her arms. She whispering over and over “I’m sorry, so sorry…”
    And the look on her face as I pulled away and said , “Can I go again?”

    • Oh my God. What a beautiful story, what a frightening story, and it seems that the NPR folks are right, because I had a similar experience when I was a child at the lake, with my Dad. Oh, the cruel resilience of children–nearly drowning, and eager to go again :)

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