Have you ever wondered what it would be like to know your death ahead of time? Even more, as a teenager?
Zach Sobiech knows. Barring an incredible recovery, he will be dead in a few months.
He is so positive - while many teenagers I know don't seem to have anything to do with their free time.
Zach has had all the treatments he can have for cancer, in this case osteosarcoma. Some of his days are hard, but he sticks with it. He has, in fact, written a song about it, a track called "Clouds."
His story has been told in greater detail by the Minneapolis paper. Click below to get more of his story from his home town, and a u-tube video of his song.
The lyrics to his song are quite wonderful.
Well, I fell down, down, down - Into this dark and lonely hole - There was no one there to care about me anymore - And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge - You were sitting there holding a rope.
And we'll go up, up, up, But I'll fly a little higher - We'll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer - Up here my dear - It won't be long now, it won't be long now.
When I get back on land - Well I'll never get my chance - Be ready to live and it'll be ripped right out of my hands - Maybe someday we'll take a little ride - We'll go up, up, and up and everything will be just fine.
And we'll go up, up, up - Bit I'll fly a little higher - We'll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer - Up here my dear - It won't be long now, it won't be long now.
If only I had a little bit more time - If only I had a little bit more time with you - We could go up, up, up - And take that little ride.
And sit there holding hands - And everything would be just right - And maybe someday I'll see you again - We'll float up in the clouds and we'll never see the end.
And we'll go up, up, up - But I'll fly a little higher - We'll go up in the clouds because the view is a little nicer - Up here my dear - It won't be long now, it won't be long now.
I had many hours of thoughts about death when I had a heart attack, and was waiting several hours to be wheeled into the emergency room. Physicians warned me that I might not come out alive. But Zach is only 17? How does each individual face death? No matter what you say, words aren't enough. Music really helps the process - I listened to Mozart all the time before I went to the operating room.
And what about all the young Syrians, who must face death almost immediately, often under very harsh circumstances? What do they think about?
In American society, we don't like to talk about death and illness. But hidden inside, it pops into our consciousness whether we actually speak it or not.
I remember the blog where I pointed out my favorite piece:
To me, it is wonderful when a person like Zach makes his inner feelings available to all that can hear him.
I wonder how many of us are equally clear and open about our lives?
For him, here are wonderful sunflowers from Minnesota.