Grateful to be alive

Twenty years ago today I touched death. To be honest, I'm not terribly interested in different theories about near-death experiences; I know what I experienced, and what I believe: that sometimes, on the border between life and death, we're lucky enough to come back. For me, it was looking down from the tunnel to see my child being comforted by a stranger over the apparent death of his mother in the mangled car. I was filled with rage at the thought of dying and leaving my family, and I believe that's why I'm alive today.

I wrote about the injuries and the start of recovery, as well as the near-death experience, in Peeling the Onion. It's been a slow process, but there is now very little that I can't do. I've worked hard, but I've been exceptionally lucky too, with the therapists I've found along the way. Don't ever believe that physical recovery ceases after two years - I've improved steadily over twenty.

So, noting the date today, my first reaction was to feel sick. My second was gratitude. I've never subscribed to the theory that I need to be grateful for horrendous injuries and years of pain, because of what it 'taught' me. But I am very grateful for the life I've had around and since those traumas, and for the future that I still have. 

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