Eight Minutes.

I'm not the most, er, confident flyer.

There's something about being hurtled through the air in a big heavy metal object that is unnatural and wrong.

Yes, I know, physics, science, Newton's laws, Bernoulli, etc, etc.

It doesn't change my feeling: planes are not NATURAL.

My anxiety about flying hasn't seemed to affect the rest of my family, thankfully, and it doesn't get in the way of taking trips.

Really, it just flares up in those moments where there is the inevitable bump or two of turbulence.

Of course, my seven year old son smiles and laughs, because heyyyyyyy, turbulence is like being on a roller coaster! And roller coasters are FUN!

Roller coasters are fun, my son, because they ACTUALLY SECURED TO THE GROUND. We are not. And I really have to bite my tongue in these situations, because really, I want to hiss, WE GONNA DIE! like some New Orleans voodoo lady.

I seem to get by in those situations by keeping my mouth shut, focusing on my breathing, and looking for the silver lining. Usually I think, Well, at least we'll all go together.  And then I tell myself, well, at least it'll be quick. If, god forbid, something happens, and we crash, it's unlikely I'd live in terror for more than a minute before my mortal coil shuffled off.

Because really, it's not death itself that scares me so much. Death, like taxes and change, is inevitable. No, what scares me is what happens BEFORE dying. I imagine it's the terror I feel whenever the plane hits some turbulence, except 100 times worse, because at some level I'd KNOW that this is it.

And yes, I recognize that statistically speaking, I'm like 10 times more likely to die in a car accident than in a plane. I understand on an intellectual level that aviation is actually the safest way to travel. I am also fairly certain, given my family history, that I'm a hell of a lot more likely to die by cardiac event than plane crash.

But the idea that my death would probably be quick, well, it helps quell the terror I feel whenever there's turbulence and I'm reminded of just how unnatural it is to be 25,000 feet in the air in a big metal thing.

But then I read something on CNN last night which totally, completely ruined my ideas of a quick death.

The plane that crashed in the French Alps had an 8 minute dive from 38,000 feet to about 6,000 feet.

Eight minutes. 

That's a long time.

Too long.

Thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of the victims of Germanwings Flight 9525.

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