Dying Alone on the Airport Concourse

Alone on the Airport Concourse
Alone on the Airport Concourse
Alone on the Airport Concourse

Vacations and traveling are usually happy occasions but have you thought what would happy if you died while traveling? Making my connection at Chicago Midway for Buffalo last week I saw something unexpected: a man dying on the concourse.

Heading home knowing my father had bypass surgery the week prior and just receiving a text my mother was in the ER, the sight was even more disconcerting. That man on the ground was somebody’s son and possibly someone’s husband and/or father.

Yes, I admit to being one of the rubbernecking-gawkers watching as EMT paramedics performed CPR. But, I have some class; I didn’t hover around like others who looked on while munching on french fries and sipping Coke. I caught bits of the scene as I walked to my gate, then to the bathroom and back to the gate.

During the three times passing by, I saw the man’s naked torso dotted with white circles, each with a little nodule popping out. One EMT pumped a large, blue rubber-like balloon, pushing air into a clear, plastic mask over the man’s mouth. Another held his hand, stroking it as if giving comfort, and a third performed chest compressions.

Lost track of how much time passed from when I initially saw this to when he disappeared on the gurney standing by. Had he lived? Had he died? Was he traveling? Did he work at the airport? Was this the way he wanted to go?

Suppose I’ll never know what happened, whether he lived or died. Certainly, the incident stirred many questions and as trite as it sounds, put life into perspective. Carpe diem!

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Jenn

Jennifer A. Huber is an award-winning travel and outdoor blogger and writer in Southwest Florida. Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led her to a career path in the tourism industry for more than 30 years. She spent a decade with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley, and Everglades National Parks. She founded the travel blog, SoloTravelGirl.com with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely. The unexpected death of her former husband in 2008 reminded her how short life is. His passing was a catalyst for sharing her experiences with the goal of inspiring and empowering others to travel solo. Jennifer holds a Travel Marketing Professional certification from the Southeast Tourism Society, is a certified food judge, member of the NASA Social community, and alum of the FBI Citizens Academy. When not traveling, she is either in the kitchen, practicing her photography skills, or road tripping with her dog, Radcliff.

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