No More Faces In The Crowd

This one has been brewing in my head for some time now.
Like many youngsters, at an early age I began watching some of those movies where there is a hero who has to stand tall in a last stand situation, and soon began to imagine myself in those same scenarios. I saw myself standing alone, an indomitable force bearing down on me, and someone standing behind me, sheltering from the storm, waiting for that force to claim my life in exchange for the one behind me, or for me to save them from it.
Now, over the years, the places where these last stands have occurred have changed as have the faces and the names of the one(s) standing behind me as the people that really matter in my life have changed. Lately, however, when I try to envision one of these final scenarios I find that I can no longer put a specific person in the position behind me. I don’t know exactly what that may signify, but I have my suspicions. I believe there are two main possibilities: either there is no one left in my life for whom I would make such a sacrifice, or there is no one I believe would be willing to stand by and watch me die for all the wrong reasons. And I do not know which of those two possibilities is the sadder.
We all die sooner or later, this cannot be avoided, but I would like at least a chance to have some say in the matter. Is there nothing left worth dying for? No person left worth my life? Will I have no say in when and how I leave this world? When at last I look into the eyes of Death, will I truly stand alone?

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