One day he came up to me and introduced himself. I couldn't have 
been more than 2 or 3 years old. I was playing in the lagoon and 
was pushed over by a wave. The water was only about waist deep, 
but I couldn't swim and I couldn't find my way to the surface. 
I caught glimpses of him standing there, looking at me, waiting. 
My very first meeting to my recollection. I was pulled out of the 
water by my aunt. I looked around, searching, but he was not there. 
Was it only my imagination? It was not. Since that incident, he 
became a constant companion. Just out of reach, but always watching,
 As the years went past, he became less important to me. The 
memories of that day faded.
 A couple of years later I saw him again. He was hunched besides a 
bench at the airport, watching me. I got separated from my parents 
and when I spotted them they were already well on their way to the 
parkinglot. I started to run to catch up. Almost just reaching the 
other side of the road, my eyes met his and a car hit me from the 
side. As everybody came rushing to me, all I could do is look at him. 
Finally he got up and disappeared out of my sight. It happened so 
fast, I must have imagined him.
 Many years went by. In those passing years, I saw him several times. 
Every time single time, a family member passed on...or a pet. I 
started associating him with pain, despair and sadness.
 December 2001 was as any other December. Life always went on. I 
started noticing him in the store, in my back yard, at my mom's 
house, at work. A feeling of foreboding went through me. On the 8th 
day I woke and he was sitting on my bed, staring out the window... 
As I heard the music coming from the living room, I knew this day 
would end bad. I made my peace with God and left the day in His 
 That night as the bullet tore through me, he stood the 
passage...his hand on my daughters shoulder. I thought for sure this 
would be my final meeting with him. But he just stood there. As the 
pain set in and the blood rushed out of me, he smiled. I could hear 
a whisper in my head "not your time", but that night, he never left 
my side....waiting...
 That was the last BIG meeting I had with him. Over the next few 
years, he would pop in and out of my life always leaving sadness in 
his wake. I learned to fear what he represented. I started to 
disassociate myself emotionally from people I knew, thinking that it 
would lessen the blow of loosing someone. It did not.
 I am no stranger to death and loss. In the last couple of years I 
have learned to accept death as part of life. I'm not afraid of him 
anymore, only sad. Sad for the people that will be left behind.
 Now, Death, it is my turn.....I am here....waiting...
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