What do you mean, almost died?

It was more like I almost nearly killed myself. Anyways, I wanted to go through all of the proscribed psychological stages that result after a trauma before I wrote about it. So basically I've been over it for a few days and I'm mostly healed so now I can write about it:

My friends Deena and Barya got married a week ago. They're both really driven people--they let the world make room for them--and are always working to bring hashem into the open. In short, they're both really special. Their chupa was super intense and they were really focused on creating new worlds through their union. They have such holy chutzpa that I believe they have been and will continue to be doing exactly that.

Anyways, I was really short on sleep as I'd been splitting my time between work, social stuff, and my family who was visiting for shavuoth. I always get depressed before weddings/concerts --- anything that i know i will enjoy in the midst of lots of people, so I was purposely trying to avoid that and look forward to the wedding.. luckily i thought it was going to be a nightmare getting there from work--being tired and having to rush because they were starting so early. Avi, my roommate gave me a ride in his breakneck style of driving that pretty much doesn't jive with any concept of caution, but anyways i trust him and we always get wherever we're going.

Back to the wedding.. I think I forgot to mention it was on the carlebach moshav which adds it's own mystique to the event. [the last time i was there for a wedding i had the strongest sensation that i was in serious danger and left as quickly as humanly possible before the wedding started--- i still don't know what that was about, they were also two really good friends who are super-special] and all the most amazing open-minded hugest-souled jews in israel were there from every corner of israel and from all over the world too (because they all end up here sooner or later). It was really something to behold, especially with so many friends around in such high spirits. The dancing was was other-worldly.. it was an open field with straw, dirt, grass, and stone underfoot.. barya is such a physical powerful energetic person the frenzy that all of his closest friends stirred up was pretty wild. The music washed over everything and gave me energy, all of which i gave to the dancing.

Sometime around then it reached that wedding stage where the hatan and kallah are stuck in chairs and people dance around and do shtick, and generally make them laugh. There was all the usual stuff, most of which I don't recall.. (shaul was spinning around on someone's shoulders i think..) because of where i stopped dancing when we moved into the shtick phase, i was guarding the couple against some of the more daring (or dangerous) acts..

Right around that time, I was so excited for them and wanted to do something to surprise them and make them laugh.. I stepped into the circle and asked haShem that what i was about to do wouldn't be for me, but for them.. and though my legs told me they really didn't have any oomph left in them.. i got it into my head that i was going to do a backflip for them. [i haven't ever done a back-flip before----and in case you were wondering, i was completely sober] .. i stepped out into the middle of the circle, bounced on my feet, testing my legs (which basically said 'we got nothing') once.. twice.. and then i jumped..

I don't remember hitting the ground, but i didn't have a plan for how I was going to land anyway..

the next thing i do remember is people helping me to my feet, i was laughing and felt fine.. someone told me i cut my head (my forehead, right below the hairline) , so they took me over to the side, then the blood started pouring out.. i remember thinking, no problem.. i pulled a wad of tissues out of my pocket and applied some pressure.. people helped me to a chair somewhere outside of the circle.

[they tell me the hatan and kallah didn't see anything but me getting back up again laughing-- it might have all been caught on video] my vision still hadn't really cleared much and people were all around me.. it was an emergency, and i'm calm in emergencies, so i was perfectly chilled out--examining my vision and my memory, feeling around inside my head to know if anything was damaged.. i was shocked to feel that everything was more or less in order.. it was only starting to clear enough for me to realize what i had done.

When they had gotten me seated..sareet came running over screaming at me for nearly killing myself and begging me not to do stupid things like that. it was her reaction that made it all more real for me.. i felt really bad.. i haven't seen someone freak out like that--not about me--in a long time (if ever). .. apparently she had seen it all happen (it had been right in front of everyone so it would have been hard for her to miss it) .. and it was sort of funny in retrospect because she has feignting reaction to blood and there was so much of it she could barely stay conscious enough to yell at me for not thinking..

I was thankful I was alive and i heard people saying there was an ambulance on the way.. really i was totally calm and aside from a little dizzyness i felt shockingly ok.. so i walked to a room away from the small crowd that had gathered so that i could be treated by the 3 or 4 EMT people who happened to be at the wedding. I sat for a while with cold compresses till the blood mostly stopped. I walked at one point over to a sink and tried to clean out my head as much as possible from any pebbles and dirt or straw that had gotten into the wound.. there was a bunch of clotted blood so i couldn't really tell what was dirt.

In the ambulance the medic kept me awake the whole time back to jerusalem.. which took quite a while.. i had the impression i might have been fading out a couple o times in there.. but for me it felt like i was conscious the whole time.. i joked with him and asked him what he was learning.. i shared with him the most amazing torah from the maor aynayim i had learned the day before.

In the emergency room they were bored and didn't have patience for me or anyone else there.. (i was after midnight.. i looked like a war victim with all the blood on my light-colored clothing and the bandage on my head--- i had washed off most of the blood on my face by the sink.) .. another arab guy came in--also with a bandage on his head and a bloody arm-- i thought about joking with him 'whos wedding were you at?' but he looked more miserable than me. .. i was apparently too chilled out because they took a long time to treat me.. when they did it was just some glue and a few stereostrips, a tetanus shot, and they sent me home. i asked if they needed to test me for a concussion or something, but he said he could tell from my pupil's reaction to the light that i was alright.. .. i wasn't so convinced, but i felt fine.. so we caught a cab home (sareet who went w/ me in the ambulance and i).. the next day i was helping my father carry stuff for shabbath and walked around a bunch, got some fresh air, and felt surprisingly healthy..

it was totally a miracle.. i pile-drived (backwards and) head-first into the ground (with all of my weight) ---if i had gone a little farther over, my face would have taken the blow instead of the strongest bone in my skull, if i had gone a little less far over, my neck would have absorbed all of the shock---- i was barely bruised the next day.. the stereostrips haven't all come off yet, but the itching that says it's healing under there has mostly stopped. haShem really saved me--despite my best, if unintentional, efforts.

i feel differently about so many things now.. and it helps me to put the little things in their place. i'm sure most people have much more traumatic brushes with death-- i just hope they are as spiritual for them as this was for me.. (but that stuff's all really just for me, this isn't the forum to talk about it, nor do i think there is one)


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