drowning - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
I've almost drowned in water and in air, it's the same either way if your lungs can't take in the oxygen. People have a weird and sick way of romanticising forms of death. It's all ugly. It all hurts. Very few ways to go aren't. A massive stroke is among the kindest, my Grandmother was lucky enough to go that way. It's far better to see drowning as it is and have empathy for those who die that way than fail to see the pain and suffering they endured. We are born to survive and thrive, to live and love, the end is the end, the last word on the last page, yet the beauty is the story that came before.
Drowning is a bitch of a way to go. Panic, fear and more panic. At least it was that way for me. I thought I was dead, or about to become dead. My hair floated upward and the sunlight was getting further away. That's when my brother's hand found my arm and he pulled me upwards and to safety. You remember stuff like that.
The first time her head bobs beneath the waves Sasha isn't worried. She's dived before, she isn't scared of a little water over her head. After only thirty seconds more she is sinking again, her legs tired and struggling to bring her back toward the sun-speckled surface. She can't hear the music and chatter from the lake-side beach anymore and her hair rises like seaweed upwards, rippling in the currents. With super human effort she breaks the surface again, gulping at the summer air and then with barely a splash she is under again. This time she sinks faster and the panic has her heart hammering against her ribs. Nobody is looking, no-one has seen, she isn't a small child under her mother's watchful eye anymore, she is a teenager and a competitive swimmer. When she can no longer hold her breath the cold water rushes in, all illusions of surviving are gone. Soon the oxygen deprivation takes away her thoughts and she will have to wait for the divers to return her to her loved ones.
In the movies drowning is loud and splashy, someone yells and waves their arms, they dip below the waves and come up in dramatic fashion while those on shore scramble to rescue them. I've been a lifeguard since my teens and I can tell you that that particular scenario has never happened. Drowning is quiet, their movements are subtle, they rarely make any noise at all. One minute their head is bobbing above the water and then it is gone. So if you're not any good at "spot-the-difference" this isn't the job for you. Someone can go in the time it takes you to check a text from your man. Last summer we lost two men on my watch, young, twenty something, more bravado than sense. I was there when they pulled their lifeless bodies up the sand, water-logged and blue. So I tell my guy, there's nothing macho about drowning, always tie a float to your leg when you swim out, gives you something to hold onto if you get a cramp.
I have held my breath in a pool before, this isn't like that. This is like having a gun to my head and being told not to let my heart beat. Of course it will beat. And just like the heart must go on my lungs will inhale whether it is air or briny water. In the moment that the coolness rushes in I know I am already dead. In moments I will float like the sea weed, nothing more than flesh and bones ready to decay in the currents. I want to be saved, I want a rescuing hand to tow me back to life, to the world I know...
When I fall beneath the waves I expect to come back up, and I do. But each chance to breathe becomes further apart, each breath less than the last. Before I go under that final time I know I have been kissed by the sun for the last time. The current takes me down and I strain for the light that dims above.