March 29, 2013

Final Destinations: 2 Passings and a Plan as Told in the Comments to “The Grudge of the Old.”


In the last few years two older men whom I had turned to for wisdom and good stories passed, and the difference between their final years was illustrative.

The first, married to my grandmother, I had known since I was a child. As he got older I learned more of his life before their union, and it was not an exemplary one. He had changed dramatically under the influence of his final wife, but he was, in all ways, a real bastard in his youth to early middle age.

As his body failed and death was near, he held on with ever greater ferocity. He lost his body, his mind, and towards the end -- in a quiet moment together -- he slightly bared his soul when he confessed that what he feared wasn't dying, but what lie on the other side; the inevitable penance for the crimes against God and man he had committed in youth.

The other death, just this last week, was of a good friend and mentor, whose life was lived fully and without regrets. He was married to his first and only wife. His children had children of their own. He was always gracious and open with friends and enemies alike. In the end, with death imminent, he worked to ensure none would be put out by his passing, and handled the arrangements himself, right down to the catering.

From what I was told, the end was swift and largely painless as he allowed the drugs to ease the pain and his soul to be released.

In both cases, the men who had taught me a great deal about how to be a man continued to teach me to the very end, As I continue to see and interact with the aged, I can't help but notice that the ones who have peace in their hearts and mind believe and have lived as if a reward is awaiting them, and those who display anger, bitterness, and despair seem to be trying to convince themselves that there is nothing to be afraid of on the other side. -- Posted by: dan at March 27, 2013 4:35 PM


I have the house loaded with explosives. Forty five seconds after I flatline, the whole neighborhood goes up. Posted by: Lorne at March 27, 2013 4:47 PM

Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 29, 2013 3:22 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Thanks Gerard, I'm honored to have that story chosen to grace the front page. I just hope I don't live near Lorne.

Posted by: dan dressel at March 29, 2013 9:13 AM

I just hope Lorne passes at night so the pyro effects will look better.

Posted by: pdwalker at March 30, 2013 9:13 AM