Memento mori

So I nearly died last night.

Not that you would care. And that’s okay; I take no offence. The ending of my life would likely make no noticeable different to yours.

But it was certainly a most harrowing experience for me. I remember the episode clearly.

It was a dark and stormy night. No, truly, it was. My friend and I were headed towards the tram stop after a long day at university. As we crossed the tracks, I heard tram horns to my right. Next thing I knew, my shirt was jerked backwards, hauling me along with it. Less than a second later, I see a tram shoot past me. It appeared to be no more than five centimetres away from my face. My friend was clutching me, her heavy breaths hitting my neck.

So that’s the gist of how my heroic friend saved me from death by tram. If it weren’t for her quick thinking and acting, I could very well be dead right now. Or worse.

Anyhow, as traumatic as that experience was, it did provide me with some inspiration for this week’s blog post. After a quick Google session, I stumbled across this juicy post by the Australian Bureau of Statistics – a spreadsheet of all the causes of death and their related statistics in 2015 Australia.

Here are some interesting facts that I found during my perusal.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, car-related accidents, with over 700 deaths, are the most common type of transport accidents. It has more deaths than all other transport type deaths combined, including pedestrians, pedal cyclists, motorcyclists etc.

I’m a clumsy and just in general physically inept person. So when I read about the number of deaths from falls, I was duly concerned, to say the least. Turns out, in 2015, 32 people died from falling off chairs, 4 from roller-skates and skateboards, 23 from ladders and 60 from beds. My bed is quite possibly the only place in this world where I feel safe so I really don’t know what to do with myself anymore after reading that statistic.

What about animal-related deaths? Turns out you’re just as likely to die getting bitten or scratched by another person than you are by a dog. Both had 2 deaths each in 2015. Furthermore, as terrifying and deadly as they are, crocodiles were responsible for only 1 death in 2015.

There were several deaths from seemingly harmless everyday household objects too. For example, 3 people died from a water tap-related accident. Moreover, next time you’re enjoying your Lush Blackberry Baby Bath Bomb, maybe take a moment for extra precautions, as in 2015 there were a total of 9 deaths involving bath tubs.

And finally, just in case you were wondering, I’m pleased to report that according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2015, no one died from contact with sharps such as knives or daggers, no one died from lawnmower-related incidents, and no one died from being bitten by a rat.

I’m not sure what the moral of the story is here. Maybe it’s ‘try to die in an interesting way so as to get your own category in the Bureau of Statistics’ Causes of Death spreadsheet.’ Probably not. In any case, memento mori, folks. Remember that you must die.

2 Responses to “Memento mori”

  1. Ellen Rochelmeyer says:

    Well written post and enjoyable to read, if slightly morbid. What makes such macabre topics so fascinating? Is it curiosity, or simply an awareness of our own mortality? Memento mori, indeed.

  2. Jennifer Feinstein says:

    Love the witty language. Despite how morbid it is, its a great topic of conversation. Someone died from being scratched by another person or by a dog bite?

    Also, don’t mean to be critical, but perhaps you could throw in a bit more science… perhaps about fears, emotions, what really happens internally when we are faced with death?