It’s time for me to die

Yes, this is a very personal, and internal, essay.

The title states what I feel, “It is time for me to die”.

My best days are behind me.

Surviving two warzones.  Surviving the minefields of Iraq.  Surviving my time as a cop.

I knew, from the time I was 18 and had joined the military as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Specialist, that my time on Earth was limited.

That, however, didn’t prove to be true…

It didn’t prove to be true because I was too damn good at my job.  I DID survive the minefields.  I DID survive going to a warzone twice.

It didn’t prove true because I was too damn good at my job.  I DID survive being a cop.  I survived the footchases, car chases, and pulling people out of the woods at night alone.

I never thought I would see a point in my life where I survived those times.  But, I did.

Now, I am watching my health deteriorate.  Some of it is my fault.  The cigarettes, the whiskey.

But, I’m still here.

I was never MEANT to still be here.

Surely, I shouldn’t be battling health issues on the backside of my life.

I should be dead.

I shouldn’t have survived what I did.

That I survived it, and my body gave out, was a travesty to me.  A burden.

I’m now disabled, beyond doing what I am trained to do, and unable to do anything as meaningful as what I did in the past.

You want to know what depression is… you see it here before you…. in me.

I survived everything I shouldn’t have, only to be disable and told to move on into places where I am the old, disabled, veteran, that can’t adjust.

Yes.  I would be happy to be told “you have six months left” by a doctor.  At least I could enjoy those six months as much as I did the rest of my life.

Instead, I get uncertainty.  How to feed my family?  How to be productive?

I don’t like uncertainty.

All I’ve asked from my doctors is give me the information.  Tell me where I stand.

The more I stand to terminality, the better I see it.

That is me…

Because I’m not going to go back and tell you all of the things I’ve done, accomplished, seen, been, to think that my best days are behind me.


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    • Inky99 on December 22, 2009 at 08:03

    the question of course is when.  I never thought I’d live to be 40.  But I did, and then had to deal with the “now what?” aspect of it.   That was eight years ago.  

    I understand when you feel helpless, and out of control.   I’m in a situation that isn’t too different.   I’ve been having some rough rough times myself to put it mildly.

    But remember there are people in your life who love you and who will be scarred forever if you do anything like taking your own life.

    It’s really not fair to them at all.  

    Listen, December is a tough month.   I’ve had a lot of people in my life die in December, including my mother when she was only 53.   It’s a bad time.  

    Hang in there, take things a day at a time.  That’s what I’ve found when things are almost too much to bear, is just get through the day.   Get through the day.   Tomorrow might be better, it might not be, but don’t worry about it, just get through the day then tomorrow you can get through that one, too.  

    Pretty soon things will be different and you will probably feel differently.  

    Just information — I had two friends come down with cancer this year.  Both of them almost died, I mean very close.   One of them just wrote me that he’s better now, not just in remission, the doctor has given him an actual clean bill of health.  

    I don’t know what else to say, but you can say whatever you want here.  It’s all right.  

    One thing you might want to do is to not drink.   I know that’s easier said than done, but I used to drink when I was upset, and it actually makes you more depressed.   Especially the next day.   If you can give it up, your mood will be far more stable.   If you can’t, well, that’s another thing.   It took a particular cathartic event for me to stop.    Maybe switch over to something that will give you some emotional detachment, like pot, rather than alcohol, which will magnify whatever emotion you’re feeling.    

    Something I want to mention is that I see you seem very attached to your job description.  Most men are, that’s how we’re raised.   “What do you do” is the same as asking “what ARE you?”   But you are not your job.   You never were.  Your job is something that you just did.  Sure it helped define you and all of that, but it’s NOT the “essential you”.   The essential you is something you were when you were a little boy.   If you think about it, you can recall it.  For me, it’s when I was ten years old.  That was the essential me.   That was before career concerns and before sex.  

    Think back on that and realize that there’s a little boy in you who is your essential self.   That boy doesn’t have a job or a career.  But he’s a guy,  and he’s a pretty great guy.   That’s you.

  1. WE need you.

    Please don’t leave us.

    You are alive for a reason.

    I survived 9/11 when I was not supposed to – for a reason.

    Every time someone like you dies by his or her own hand, the evil sons of bitches responsible for these unending wars WIN.

    They created these wars to profit off of the death and pain of people like yourself.


    Your life has the meaning YOU give it. YOU. It already means so much, although they’d NEVER tell you that.

    People who have specialized knowledge which could hurt the regime in power, and whose politics don’t match the status quo are DELIBERATELY marginalized and are on the bad end of some of the most sophisticated psyops ever seen on the face of the earth. THIS IS NOT JUST BEING DONE TO YOU. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. DON’T FALL FOR IT!

    They’ve tried to do it to Translator. They’ve tried to do it to Lasthorseman. They tried to do it to JoyB. They’ve been trying to do it to me since 1992.

    Please realize what’s happening. Don’t let them win.


  2. You are a soldier, a cop, and a husband.  You are a survivor, and you admitted that yourself. Keep telling yourself that OK, you are a survivor.  

  3. …I hope you will communicate with him.

    In the meantime, I would like to send you a Haiku I wrote 50 years ago and was much in my thoughts today.  I also want to share the thinking why the Haiku was in my mind today.

    I could be considered to be old beyond my time.  I have severe pulmonary problems.  I am on oxygen and compressor delivered medications for my lungs.  I’m 77.  Earlier today I got home from my swimming Pilattes class.  How, in my condition, can I do this, how can I go swimming?

    I got home worn out, wishing I could go back to bed, knowing I couldn’t because my therapist was coming to talk to me.  As I sat there, I looked out my window with San Francisco and the Bay Bridge in the background, at the dutch elm tree which has lost almost all it’s leaves, and I thought…

    … Buddha wasn’t right when he said death is suffering.  No, nature is kind in easing the letting go process.  As I thought of myself, and I looked at the tired leaves on the tree I felt quite content and found myself thinking of my Haiku from 50 years ago:

    Tree to air to water

               Leaf falls settles on stream

               Reflecting sunlight.

    May you find peace and contentment in your process.  And thank you for your willingness to share your feelings.

  4. make you believe that being told you have six months to live is not something you want to hear.

    I can tell you that I know the personal value of the light in the eastern sky each morning when I wake up. And how much it means to me.

    And the memory of strength and health and all that, and knowing it is now a memory.

    Peace, Michael Gass.

    • dkmich on December 22, 2009 at 13:14

    I’m not asking.   It makes it hard to offer any practical advice this way, but….  If it helps any, life does suck; and I think its suppose to.  I suppose you’ve exhausted all of the traditional safety nets. If I had nothing left to lose, I’d leave the country for a cheaper place to live and a new beginning.  Maybe that isn’t an option for you.  

  5. but you’re not “I’m an old man, beyond his time”. Your writings tell me so. You still care!

    In your other essays you said you’ve been there before and how much it hurt your wife.

    You can still be proud of past accomplishments, but this is another day and maybe it’s time to let go and reinvent yourself. Not this month, December sucks! In January, a brand new year, a new beginning.

    Know this, Michael, you are not alone. There are a bunch of cracked eggs on this site (I’m one of them), but also a bunch great voices who will yell out the truth to the world. We’re not that many we need your voice!

    (((Take care)))

    • Edger on December 22, 2009 at 14:50

    There aren’t nearly enough to go around, you know?

    There will be others who feel like you do right now, who will need someone like you who can say to them “Talk to me – I’ve been there – I know what you’re going through“.

    I know it isn’t easy by any means, but stick around, buddy. Please.

    • Joy B. on December 22, 2009 at 17:31

    things that are trite and meaningless. What I will say is that there’s a certain satisfaction in getting to be Old and In The Way. A thorn in some young asshole’s (or politician’s, or corporate greedhead’s) side. That alone can be a fine and final accomplishment…

    (she says 30+ years later, when the Nuclear Mafia is fielding their Last Great Attempt at a “renaissance” they’ll only get over my dead body, when I know as well as they do it’s too goddam late for that sort of shit. Bwahahahaha!!!)

    Write The Book. I’ll buy it!

  6. I have a persistent abdominal hernia that is causing the bleeding in my stomach and acid reflux that has torn up my esaphogas.

    Next, they are going to do a colonoscopy.

  7. …and please keep us informed.  Sending prayers and blessings to you.

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