Dungeon Prompts: When did Death Become Real for You

This week’s prompt is:   When did Death become Real for You 

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”

― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid

“That was the thing. You never got used to it, the idea of someone being gone. Just when you think it’s reconciled, accepted, someone points it out to you, and it just hits you all over again, that shocking.”

― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”

― John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany

We all have experienced death in our lives in some form or another, but usually there is a point when death becomes real.  The first time that you saw a dead body, the first time a relative passed, or the first time an idol or hero left you.  Death hits us all in different ways, but usually there is a time when our own mortality becomes real.  When did death become real for you?

Suggested Prompts:

*Tell us about your first experience with death.  Did it change anything in you?  Did it change the way you saw yourself or the way you saw or acted towards others?  Or was there some other more impactful moment when the reality of the fragility of the human body became clear?  Or are you still unable to fathom the inevitability of death?  Tell us about your relationship with the reality of death.

*Write a short story, poem, or share a picture or song that talks about when death became real for you.

*Any inspired offering that somehow relates to the reality of death.

Dungeon Prompts are meant to open up the abandoned rooms inside ourselves and dust them off a bit.  Explore the recesses of your mind and get back with a poem, story, essay or creative offering.  Link your post to this specific prompt page and I’ll share your link back with our readers.

To participate, all you’ll need to do is:

1.            Tag your post with: “DungeonPrompts”

2.            Link back to this page in the body of your post *

3.            Dive deep within and give us a glimpse of your soul!**


*note: If the pingback doesn’t work, then please leave the link to your post in the comment section.

**If you don’t have a blog please feel free to join the discussion in the comment section.


This Week’s Contributors are:

Death of a Loving Man – Cher Shares

Drowning in Death – Dream Cloud Diaries

Death Becomes Her – Dana Constance Thomas

Why Must I Cry – Traces of the Soul

Safety in Death – MarthaOstout

The Scars of Death – It’s a Lonely Place

Death:  My Shadow, My Friend – Finale to Entrance

Death: “Dance with Me.” – Garden2day

The Reality of Death – SplitSpeak

When Did Death Become Real for Me – Davekester

Of Ferocity – Anawnimiss


Please, also check out last week’s offerings for Tribute

Finding Myself in Music – Dream Cloud Diaries

A Daughters Tribute – It’s a Lonely Place

Teachers’ Appreciation Day – Cher Share

Tribulation – Finale to an Entrance

Women Being Awesome – MarthaOstout

My Archangel – Traces of the Soul

Kerouac by Moonlight (Prose) – Blog It Or Lose It

About the author

I am a King without a Kingdom, in a world with many masters, wrapped in the spoils of a jealous heart, and my people’s callous laughter.


  1. The summer of 1965, I traveled with a church youth group from Florida to Seattle and back, studying the Beliefs Men Live By. (This was during the time when the term “men” was routinely used to mean all humans/people!) Almost immediately after our return to Florida, one of the teenagers who had participated in the trek was diagnosed with leukemia. I still remember visiting her in the hospital. While my memory of the time line may be off, I believe she died about a month later. How could one of my friends have died? How could someone that young die? Grandparents die, not teenagers. I think this was the time that death became real to me.

  2. Death is like a thief that slips in when you aren’t expecting it. At first it creeps in slowly, you almost cannot comprehend it has arrived, especially if the soul hasn’t departed from the body yet. However, death soon cracks you wide open and your heart is exposed to the world. You have choices now, will you close it off or keep it open to whatever you are experiencing. There will be days you will want to experience both. Be aware. Grief, once it has settled in to your heart, does not leave it makes a home. It is up to you what you will offer it of yourself.

  3. Oh dear me….your blog is my guide or my mentor…or both, supporting a friend with dis-ease this week….sheesh…you did it again, Sreejit. And put me back into deep thought…I was 6 when GrandPapa died…at 7 one of my mother’s customers (hairdressing) ran over a neighbour…he was 7…within one year I was hit with 2 realities…death is part of life (okay for old folks even if difficult) it can even mix up the order of things…a child too can die. WoW!

  4. Death–it is me–it surrounded me when I was 3, tried to grab hold when I was 11, held hands at 16, wrapped its arms around me at 19, but death took a piece of my soul at 21. Great prompt… I think (hope) I can write something new.

  5. My Lifelong Friend

    I was a babe, but eighteen months in this world
    Upon brothers knee a bouncing
    The tickle of childish fingers upon my belly
    The constricting of trachea
    Laughter cut short
    The frantic drive to the hospital
    Wings enfold my tiny soul
    Surgeons work diligently
    Cutting a hole in my throat
    Trying to restart my tiny heart
    Death smiles
    I smile back
    He extends his hand
    But I don’t take it
    The doctors give up on me
    But I didn’t give up on myself
    My heart started
    Without assistance
    And since that day
    Death sits at my bedside
    Each night he extends his hand
    Each night I don’t take it

    T J Therien

    1. thank you Sreejit, funny thing is most of my poetry is free verse and written stream of conscious, whatever words fall on the page type of thing, these are the words your prompt inspired… again thank you

  6. I had begun to write about death having been brushed with its cloak very young. Then my mother appeared in my doorway just as your prompt showed in my reader. She never comes to my office unannounced. I don’t believe in coincidence.

    2013 has been a tough year in my family. I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. My father diagnosed with Leukemia.and my aunt an inoperable brain tumor. Now my aunt is drifting quickly each day she grows closer to God. And now it appears my father’s Leukemia seems to have progressed as well. Hence my mother’s impromptu visit. Well I don’t even know where to begin on the subject of death now. My blog is not big enough to hold the volumes I have come to know intimately. There is still so much of my own experience I’ve yet to get out.Yet to write down.

  7. Sreejit,
    Karuna keyed me into your prompts. I took up this weeks Topic on my blog (DaveKester.Blogspot.com) I don’t know if PingBack is working from blogspot. Great topic, thanks for the inspiration.

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