By Kelly Mahan Jaramillo, Sometime in August. 2012
Dead Again Non-Christian
It was a rainy Saturday afternoon in February the day Lisa Sullivan died. She was forty-nine years old, married, childless, and, despite the onset of peri-menopause which she was struggling to deal with, was in reasonably good health. At the time, she, like every other living, breathing person on the planet was under the impression that exercising, eating well, eschewing alcohol, tobacco and hard drugs was the key to a long life.
Naturally she had no idea that clean living doesn’t stop your number from coming up when your time on Earth is over. If you like the way you feel living a ‘healthy lifestyle’, then by all means, continue. But if you enjoy smoking and drinking and eating lots of fried cheese, do not stop in the interests of living longer. It makes no difference.
This irritated Lisa, but by the time she found out she was already dead, so there was no point in pitching a fit. Still, she felt it was not fair and wished she could help the people sweating it out on the treadmill and choking down their daily wheatgrass juice, tell them to stop, it was pointless.
But there had been a lot about life that she had found not to be fair, and to her increasing dismay, there was not a whole lot of fairness going on in the afterlife, either.
Lisa had stopped smoking years ago, but she had never been a heavy smoker so it had not been hard to do. She stopped drinking because it was starting to make her feel and look like shit.
Most people start to show their indulgences one way or another, and if, like Lisa, you have a soupcon of vanity, too much booze eventually showing up on your face and your ass might make you stop. Yes, this is what stopped her, consequently, she looked better and felt better and naturally the poor girl figured she was going to live forever.
She then took the logical next step, figuring if she was going to live longer, she did not want to be all gnarled up from not exercising and eating crappy food, so she cleaned up her diet and started power walking, yoga, Pilates, and the occasional dance class. She had settled into this healthy routine and was going about her business, eating decent food, doing daily exercise, simply living her slightly dull, clean autopsy life the day she died.
It was not all that dramatic, other than her pitifully young age. She was driving home from work, and as she was making the left turn onto her street, a speeding SUV came barreling through the red light, smashing into her little Toyota, sending her spinning into the intersection where her car bounced off of a light pole, hit two parked cars and wound up in the middle of the intersection on the drivers side. Lisa is quite certain she died fairly quickly, as from her perspective, she heard a crash. Loud, it was as if her head had been placed in between two metal trash can lids, each side getting hit with a giant metal gong. Painful. Funny, when she thinks about it, that was the only pain she felt.
She saw her street spinning all around her through a curtain of red birds flying up from the trees. The birds were beautiful, but she was thankful when things got quiet.
When the scene was replayed later, she noted the SUV that plowed into her had a bumper sticker on the back that read ‘JesusGirl’ encased in a fish outline.
It took a long time for Lisa appreciate the humor.
For more on God and his underwriters, click here.