24 May 2008

The Opposite of Death

I read Nando Parrado's amazing survival story a few years ago in Outside Magazine and it has stuck with me ever since.

He was one of the people whose plane crashed in the Andes and who survived for almost 2 months up there. Their story was made famous in the movie "Alive!"

He said the most amazing and profound thing toward the end of the story, when he and several others decided to walk out of the mountains. They thought they were at the edge of the mountain range, but on summiting a mountain, found that they were right in the middle. At that moment, they felt all hope was lost:
I felt a sharp and sudden longing for my mother and sister, and for my father, whom I was sure I would never see again. But despite the hopelessness of my situation, the memory of him filled me with joy. It staggered me—the mountains could not crush my ability to love. In that moment, I discovered a simple, astounding secret: Death has an opposite, but it is not mere living. It is not courage or faith or will. The opposite of death is love. How had I missed that? How does anyone miss that? My fears lifted, and I knew that I would not let death control me. I would walk through that godforsaken country with love and hope in my heart. I would walk until I'd walked all the life out of me, and when I fell, I would die that much closer to home.

The opposite of death is love. Keep loving, my friends. Keep loving.


super des said...

A very similar story has stuck with me for a very long time:
A friend of mine in high school was in a serious car crash. She told me later that had she just closed her eyes, she would have died. But she thought of her mother and sister, and couldn't do it.

It is a very poignant point, and a good wonderful lesson.

Count Mockula said...

That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

Dave2 said...

Indeed, I never find that I feel more alive than those times I am closest to death!

Deb said...

Absolutely gorgeous.

mar said...

i try.

Traceytreasure said...

Cake or Death? I'll take the cake please! Cake = Love!

Love comes easy for me most of the time. It's so much easier than the other options.

Love and hugs, T

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