A Few Words About My Death

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysica...

John Donne, one of the most famous Metaphysical Poets. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I died last night. It doesn’t matter how I died or why because I am gone. Nothing more than the memories of a person who once was and thoughts of who I could have been. This is not supposed to be dramatic. I am not looking for attention or asking for people to come racing after me because I am gone. It is up to those who loved me to determine how to best remember me.

Don’t come looking for answers to that question from me because I am not going to give them to you. I can’t tell you how to remember me or what you should do. Ok, that is not entirely accurate I can give you specific directions on what I want to see happen and who I want to manage it all, but I won’t.

I won’t do it because I think that this is one of those situations in which more is gained by experience than by being told what to do. It reminds me of that stupid comment where people say that you don’t have to visit the sun to know that it is hot. That is true but it doesn’t really tell you all that much about what the sun is really like. It gives you a basic overview of it but no real understanding of what life is like there.

This blog  is a collection of my thoughts, feelings and ideas about life. If you read it you will learn much about me. You will gain many insights about who I was and what kind of person I tried to be. But you won’t get it all. You won’t know the little things that made me into the person that I was. You won’t know what kind of face I made when I was happy or sad. You’ll never know about the twinkle in my eye or the way that my lip curled. You will have to rely upon the words of the few that knew me. You’ll have to look to them to help flesh out what can’t be seen here.

My children will be able to tell you thousand stories about me. They know so much more about me than they realize. They see things that only children see in fathers, both good and bad. They’ll tell you stories that are worth listening to because in those stories they’ll share insights into them and me. And though they are very much their own persons those insights will help you to see hints of me inside them. The physical evidence is easy. You look at them and you can see my genetic contribution to their appearance but there are other things to experience.

That is not supposed to sound narcissistic or egocentric. It is tied into my beliefs and comments about how in some ways the dead keep living. It is those little quirks and habits that we pass down from father to son to grandson that I am referring to. I am reminded of days long past where I would sit with my father and grandfather and people would remark on how we all made the same gesture. Perhaps that was learned or maybe it is genetic, I don’t really know. I don’t think that it really matters all that much.

As I sit here staring at the screen I wonder what else there is to say and whether I should say it. It is a funny thing because I have rarely been one to suffer from writer’s block or to be speechless. Words have always been among my most faithful companions and though they haven’t always done what I asked them to, they never failed to appear.

Yet, I sit here and wonder if there is a point and a purpose to writing more. Would ten million words tell the tale that I want told of would they still fall short.  Had I lived to be a thousand years it wouldn’t have been enough time for me. There were always ten thousand things to see and places to visit. Read my words and you’ll see that one of many dreams would have been to live long enough to become an expert in many different fields. You’d see that I wanted to be able to live in places long enough to become a native and not just a tourist passing through.

Well, not every dream is made to be realized and so it goes. Still a life worth living is one in which you never stop fighting to live your dreams and not dream your life.

Now it really is time to go. Go live your dreams and perhaps I’ll see you on the other side.

Death Be Not Proud- John Donne

“Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”

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  1. TheJackB July 11, 2011 at 6:22 am

    @bdorman264 It definitely has made it easier. Some of my cousins in Israel and I have been doing some simple research on our family. It has made it very easy to go back and forth between us so that we can compare notes and divide up the work.

  2. bdorman264 July 11, 2011 at 4:10 am

    @TheJackB Absolutely; I’m ready to jump the pond now. I thought originally I was from English descent, but now I know it could be that, German, or Irish. The internet has made the research much easier these days…….

  3. TheJackB July 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    @Leon That is a great story, one that I wish I had come up with. Not that it matters, but I often think that if I roamed the streets armed with a saber people might be more polite to me, or maybe not. 😉

    Give it time and I’ll be happy to continue to disappoint- there is more truth in failure than honesty in success.

  4. TheJackB July 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    @Leon That is a great story, one that I wish I had come up with. Not that it matters, but I often think that if I roamed the streets armed with a saber people might be more polite to me, or maybe not. 😉

    Give it time and I’ll be happy to continue to disappoint- there is more truth in failure than honesty in success.

  5. Leon July 10, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    G’Day Jack,

    Back when beatniks were all the go, a nun stood on the footpath in Times Square, waiting for a break in the traffic so she could cross.

    A beatnik, full black gear, long hair, long beard, chunky cheap jewellery and all, stood beside the nun: looked at her, looked at the traffic, swept her into his arms, Fred Astaired his way through the frantic traffic and deposited the nun safely on the footpath on the other side of the road.

    “Thank you young man,” said the nun. “The Lord will reward you for your kindness.”

    “My pleasure,” said the beatnik. “Any friend of Zorro is a friend of mine.”

    Well Jack, you may yet grow into the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens. Meantime, anyone who quotes John Donne is worth perservering with.

    Swing on


  6. torczyner July 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Ra’s is the immortal one. The Dark Knight is not interested in immortality. @TheJackB @torczyner

  7. Billy_Delaney July 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm


    I have a granddaughter and so i decided to offer her and my daughter a bio of my life.

    The beginnings of which you can see in my ‘about page’ on my blog. I have been quietly writing about my life by the decades, collecting stories and such.

    I never thought to put it into a blog. It might be a good idea to serialize things as posts and have them come out after I’m gone.

    The power of blogging.

    Thanks for this post Billy

  8. TheJackB July 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    @adamtoporek Hi Adam, time and I are always at odds. I move at my pace and it is not always the same that time operates by. I try hard to minimize the differential between the two, but success isn’t always easy to come by. There is always so much to do and so much to see.

    If I find a way to get those few extra years we search for I just hope to have the health to enjoy them. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  9. adamtoporek July 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    And I was just getting to know you… One thing is for sure; you are so right, there is never enough time. 100 extra years and we still wouldn’t have enough. Every time I get off of 2 hours with tech support or some other similar waste of time, I always think “one day, I’m going to want those hours back.”

    Great poem! It’s been years on that one.

  10. TheJackB July 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    @torczyner And how would my death prevent you from moving ahead with this. The Dark Knight has a long reach. 😉

  11. torczyner July 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I’m really sorry to hear it. I was all set to feature your blog in an article shared by the LA Times, Jerusalem Post and cnn.com. Good thing I saw this post first.

  12. TheJackB July 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    @bdorman264 Hi Bill. I find genealogy to be fascinating and would love to trace mine farther. I think that it is pretty cool that you can go back to the 1700s. How much do you know about the people who are further down the line? Sounds like potentially you could have ancestors who fought in the Revolution.

  13. bdorman264 July 9, 2011 at 3:34 am

    Hmmmm, interesting Jack. I was going to send a vampire over to give you immortality and those 1000 years you wanted but didn’t realize you were already gone.

    Genetics or learned traits; I’ve done a little genealogy and have traced my direct Dorman line to late 1700’s in North Carolina. I have wondered what traits I might carry similar to his.

    What do we really leave and how much do people really know us? We can just do the best we can and hopefully enjoyed the journey along the way. Life is short…………

  14. TheJackB July 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    @mothereseblog Ah, now that is a poem worth reading more than once- something to be mulled over, considered and slowly consumed.

  15. mothereseblog July 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I’ll miss you, friend.

    From Emily Dickinson:

    Because I could not stop for Death –

    He kindly stopped for me –

    The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

    And Immortality.

    We slowly drove – He knew no haste

    And I had put away

    My labor and my leisure too,

    For His Civility –

    We passed the School, where Children strove

    At Recess – in the Ring –

    We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

    We passed the Setting Sun –

    Or rather – He passed us –

    The Dews drew quivering and chill –

    For only Gossamer, my Gown –

    My Tippet – only Tulle –

    We paused before a House that seemed

    A Swelling of the Ground –

    The Roof was scarcely visible –

    The Cornice – in the Ground –

    Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet

    Feels shorter than the Day

    I first surmised the Horses’ Heads

    Were toward Eternity –

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