By: Kirk Verner
Death is usually not a topic that dwells in my mind, well at least not the concern for my own faith. The truth is, death is as common a conversation topic as the weather. Talk of violence, gore, and death circles our everyday lives like hungry hyenas, be it in the news, on television, or around a sticky bar in a dank pub downtown in any city.
Death has never really bothered me, likely due to my horror film-of-the-week addiction. Sure, I have lost some important people in my life, but as for being close to death, it’s never happened. I don’t mean myself being close to death, I mean literally being close to someone or somewhere where a death has freshly occurred.
Having said this, the last 10 days of my life have shown me glimpses of the reality of death; they have been served up to me as if some sort of offering on a smorgasbord for the macabre.
It was Tuesday, two weeks back, when I came across a shattered glass restraining wall near a construction site in downtown Toronto. The bright, spring rays from the sun glistened off the sharp shards upon the ground; yellow police tape surrounded the mess. There was a murmur amidst a small crowd of onlookers that brought on a tingling sensation to my extremities. I was standing 15 feet from a suicide scene; a jumper. A high-rise condominium loomed, casting its shadow on the scene, almost as if knowing what had taken place from one of its balconies merely 12 hours earlier.
On Wednesday, eight days after running upon the bleak suicide scene, I was stuck in traffic on Highway 401, also in Toronto. When more than four lanes of traffic are at a standstill, it is almost certain that a tragedy has occurred; the fast-paced lanes of a highway as hectic as the 401 only cease for one reason – death.
As the vehicle I was riding in slowly began to creep eastbound up the highway, I could see sirens of all colours flashing in front of me; my prediction appeared to be correct. It was only until a police officer directed my vehicle around a crumpled, convertible Jeep that I knew a fatality had just transpired. A body, covered by a white sheet, lay lifeless in the middle lane of the busiest highway in North America. I swallowed hard as I was waved passed the ruins, once again feeling the tingling in my shaking hands.
It is difficult for me know whether or not these last 10 days are supposed to be some kind of omen I am to be noticing, or simply coincidence. There is a myth claiming that death comes in threes, and that if you look hard enough, this myth is almost always a certainty. This only leaves me wondering one thing…who will be number three?