Team Dreams 2017–18: Coming to Terms With Death and the Atlanta Hawks

“Death doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints. It takes and it takes and it takes, and we keep living anyway. We rise and we fall and we break and we make our mistakes. And if there’s a reason I’m still alive when everyone who loves me has died then I’m willing to wait for it.” — Lin Manuel-Miranda

Death is nothing without life. Life is nothing without death.

Death may come at any moment. Do you think that Aeschylus went into that field expecting a tortoise to plummet from the heavens and crack against his skull? He didn’t. So it goes. But, do you know what? It happened! Why? Because death happens to us all. All of you are going to die. So it goes…

I spend many of my nights pondering death. When will it come? How will it come? Why will it come? It overtakes my life to the point where I can’t sleep. What if I can’t finish my novel? What if I have no kids? What if no one loves me? It consumes me. Cold sweats. Shakes. Tears. Screams. Moans. Confusion.

Why can’t life come with a countdown clock? A New Years ball? A runtime? Think about how life would be different. I am 29 next month. If I knew that I would only live to 32 years of age, my life would be quite different. I’d see the world, not worry about debt and life after I graduate and what my footprint is upon the trail of human accomplishment. Certainly I’d take more chances. Why would I not? I know when death is coming. I will embrace it. I will stand atop a car and scream it to the heavens!

King Kong dies at the end of the movie and so have all the people who were in it. So it goes.

But, would that clock be definite? Or would it come with glitches? I once had a DVD copy of “F.I.S.T.” directed by Sylvester Stallone. I don’t remember what the film was about, but what I do remember is the runtime being 97 minutes on the case. 97 minutes. When I turned the movie on, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was not 97 minutes long. It was 123 minutes long. 26 extra minutes. Does this happen with my life clock?

Life is fragile and it is funny. We all know the imminence of death’s foul touch. Some let it take over the core existence. Others live as though they do not care. Death becomes us all. 40,000 years from now we’ll be dust, as will our graves, our coffins. Our souls. No memories of life. No elegies like the words of Thomas Gray…

“Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth. A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown. Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth, And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.”

So how does one respond to death’s domain? What does this all mean? I wish I knew the answer. I wish I could say that death does not faze me. I wish I could say whatever happens happens. But honestly, I am scared. All of the things I said before this scare me. Look into the annals of history, and how many people do you remember by name from 40 centuries ago? What did they do? Who was their family? Why do you know them.

I am not important. You are not important. We are not important. All that is to come is death, death is all that we will come.

Paul Milsap is gone. Al Horford is gone. Kyle Korver is gone. Jeff Teague is gone. So it goes.

Denis Schröder remains.