Part of my personal belief system is the certainty that the time of each of our deaths was written when we were born; and can not be changed.
Where you die, whom you die with, those can all be changed to a greater or lesser degree.
How you die and what you die for … ah.
This I learned from my father long before Herger the Joyous lectured about death and fear on the silver screen.
Understand that when it is time for you to die, you are going to die. Whether you believe — as I do — that your time was written, or you believe that we are only allotted a certain number of breaths or heartbeats, or you believe that the gods blink, and the lights go out … you are going to die sometime.
You cannot change this.
You can, however, change how you die, or what you die for. You can change what your death is for.
When your time to die comes up, and there’s some critter standing there with a box-cutter, or a hammer, or an AR-15 — understand that if it is your time, you are going to die shot in the back, or you are going to die getting trampled by panicked fellow citizens, or you are going to die from a stress-induced heart-attack … but it is your time, and you are going to die.
It is far better to die screaming your defiance and beating a critter’s head in, than to die cowering in a dark closet, with the smell of piddle and vomit filling your nostrils.
This is true for men; it is true for women, for high-school students —
— and it is doubly true for those who swore an oath to protect their fellow citizens.
If you so fear death that you are unable to change how you meet death — you need to re-evaluate your life.
And if you are a peace officer, and you aren’t prepared to die well … not only should you re-evaluate your life, but you need to turn in your badge and seek employment doing something else.
When violence comes, and brings your death with it — die well, for that is the only thing you can change about your death.