By Keith Varnum
 

“Each of you has already decided when you’re going to die?”
 

A few in the gasp with astonishment. Several others laugh with derision&;and a little nervous apprehension that the might be right. Many squirm uncomfortably in their seats. And several folks dramatically bolt from the room!
 

No expected this kind of bold pronouncement from the young, charming woman at the podium. Alana had certainly pulled a fast on us. Nobody saw it coming. A bombshell that immediately rocked the world of many in the room—and activated a delayed response in the remaining crowd.
 

“Who is this chick to tell me I have already chosen my time to die?” many of us reacted inwardly. “What arrogance! What idiocy! Who the hell does she think she is?”
 

Then, as the truth of the statement sank in one person at a time, the audience dropped into a deafening calm. “Maybe she’s right? Do I dare even contemplate the possibility?”

I, for one, was blasted with terrified . My mind told me she was nuts. My heart told me she was spot on. My began to quiver. And then I succumbed to wave after wave of nausea and dizziness. “My, God, she’s right! I do know when I’m going to die?” The number “63” appeared before my mind’s eye. I caught my breath, hoping the stark realization would go away.
 

My father died at age 63. Only two years ago. “Could I really have decided to follow his timetable?” My whole body and being said “Yes!”
 

“Each of you has already decided when you’re going to die?”
 

All of a sudden I became aware of a whole life plan that was set in stone. Until this moment, though, I’d not been conscious of my preparation to exit this world at age 63!
 

In that moment I saw that I’d already laid out the entire logical foundation for my decision: Age 63 is a good time to die. The best time. The fated time. My dad died at 63. I love my dad so I’ll prove my love by dying at the same age as he did! That act will bond me eternally with my father.
 

Because my dad died at that age, 63 is a socially acceptable time to die. I feel comfortable choosing to expire then. It feels right and proper. Almost expected. Certainly customary.
 

Yet what a shocker! To me—and most of the other folks in the audience. After the quick exodus of the most frightened folks, the rest of us sat in deep appreciation and apprehension of her words. No one moved or spoke for many minutes. You could say a death pall fell over the room.
 

“Each of you has already decided when you’re going to die?”
 

Paralyzed by the power of my reaction and recognition, I struggled to stretch my shoulders in my . In a room full of corpse-like stillness, I felt I needed to move some body parts to prove that I, at least, was still alive!
 

Slowly, many others in the audience began to shift restlessly in their chairs. A few mumbles could be heard. A whisper here and there. And then, as abruptly as the speaker’s brazen statement, a blue-collar guy rose in the front row to yell out, “You’ve got to be crazy! No one decides to die! And no one can choose when they’re going to die!”
 

I felt he was voicing the objection of everyone left in the room. Certainly he represented the last defense of my mind against the onslaught of my inner recognition of the truth of her words.
 

“How could she? Why would she? … so upset a friendly gathering who’d come to hear a lecture on the hidden secrets of the Bible?”
 

Alana began by talking about the how long many Biblical figures had lived. Several were known at the time to be many 100’s of years old when they passed over. Enoch lived for 365 years and Methuselah for 969! I, as many no doubt in the audience, countered with the silent argument that these references to very old age were exaggerations, local social myths, only symbolic—or even misinterpretation of the Hebrew and Greek text. I felt protected from her information by my own sense of history, tradition and reason.
 

Yet, when my heart told me she was speaking the truth, I recoiled. I rebelled. I fought back to the best of my intellectual ability. And I lost!
 

“Each of you has already decided when you’re going to die?”
 

Exhausted from inner turmoil and reeling from my deep recognition of my own chosen fate, I finally surrendered to the inevitable. I acknowledge to myself that I’d actually already decided the age at which I will die!
 

I shared this astonishing discovery with the group. One by one other people rose to admit that they also had found such a decision in the depths of their being. We were all dumbfounded! Taken aback. And dismayed! “Where do we go from here? What so we do with such disquieting revelations?”
 

Well, luckily, Alana had some suggestions. You see, she’d delivered this bombshell before many times to many diverse audiences around the country. She invariably got dramatic and varied reactions from each audience.
 

“Each of you has already decided when you’re going to die?”
 

Her advice was to sit for a while with the raw energy and shock that was being released within the body and soul. To not resist the startling new awareness flooding over our being. Such was the nature of this level of revealing.
 

Than she counseled that we might seek personal ways to move and release the strong feelings of distress and alarm activated by seeing when we’d decided to die. And then finally she recommended that we explore the possibility of consciously changing the exact age and definiteness of our demise.
 

All were excellent and helpful suggestions, I’m sure. And, I suspect, each in the audience would eventually travel the path she advised—when each was emotionally ready to do so.
 

No Time Like the Present
 

I was hit so hard and viscerally with the truth of her information that I needed immediate remedy. And it just so happened that she offered a quick antidote!
 

Alana was a Certified Rebirther, trained in the art of helping people to release emotions and limited beliefs through deep breathing. She invited everyone interested to follow her into the basement into a steaming warm room with a large hot tub. Desperate for answers and relief from the powder keg of emotion building within me, I followed her willingly. Like a lemming into the sea.
 

Little did I know then, how fitting that metaphor was. For, as the lemmings, I lept to my death in the waters. The death of my past. The death of my fear of living!
 

In my rebirthing process I chose to live in the present. And I chose to live to a ripe, old age!