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You were caught in an avalanche. To be rescued, you need to make it through the night. What thought(s) would give you the strength to go through such a scary, dangerous situation?

Knowing that I may well die, would be a comfort, because I believe God calls us when it’s our time to go. That doesn’t mean I would just assume this is the time; I would do everything in my power to remain alive, knowing that ultimately my fate is in God’s hands. No one wants to die, but we all will; acceptance, a belief in a higher power, and a hope for a hereafter, all make it a little less scary.

My family would be foremost in my mind. I know that my death will cause them deep grief when it comes. I’m sorry about that, but hope that the talking that we do about the passing of others, and the emotions that stirs, will help them through deaths of the parents and loved ones. I hate it when somebody simply says about one who has just died, “Well, they’re in heaven now,” or “they’ve gone to a better place,” or “they’re at peace,” — all that simplistic kind of talk.

Grief is long and painful; being aware of the phases of grief is helpful, I think, and perhaps going to grief counseling if it’s comfortable enough to do so. My children have been raised is a household where nothing is a taboo subject, so I think they would lean on each other and share as often as they needed to get through their grief process.

So while my family would be my first worry, I believe they have the inner strength, the core values, and a religion that feeds their spiritual needs, to come through their grief. I would probably run through list of things I should have done, but didn’t’; I’d say the serenity prayer A LOT; take mental walks through St. Andrews; remember the scorching hot summers in Florida; make stupid lists like going through the alphabet thinking  of all the names that begin with A, then B, and so on; and anything else to retain consciousness.

Meanwhile, I hope I would be caught in the avalanche with at least one other person so we could share out body heat. The more the better! I would do as much moving as possible, particularly twisting to keep my organs functioning and stretching, and exercise even if it’s only isometric to try to keep my blood flowing, and pray either for God’s deliverance, a miracle, or comfort in dying.