This is a very controversial post so just hear me out.
This is a four fold anniversary for me.
1) The crash that killed my copilot.
2) The day my nephew was killed.
3) The day my wife was diagnosed with cancer.
4) The premature and unexpected passing of my sister.
What this annual deep grief has taught me along with my multiple near death experiences during my many years as an Attack Helicopter Pilot is this. Dying is easy.
We all die eventually. Living is hard. Especially living without the ones we love. The loved ones whom have passed. Living is hard. Living with the guilt of surviving.
Living without the company of our loved ones. Dying is easy. Whether your religion places your loved ones in heaven or your lack of religion places them in a place of knowing or feeling nothing. Dying is easy.
After my crash I knew and felt nothing. I lost time. That part was easy. I felt and knew nothing. The waking up to the reality was devastating. Given the choice, I’d gladly pick death compared to the pure hell I lived for years after the crash. During my many PTSD treatments with ketamine ‘they call it “going down the K-Hole” it gives me the feeling of being in heaven.
I feel the presence of loved ones and I’m completely without physical or mental pain. I feel nothing but pure love and happiness. I’d give anything to stay there. Many times as the doctor removes the IV and I begin to come around my wife tells me that
I burst out crying begging the doctor to put the IV back into my arm. Begging to stay in “the k-hole.” Begging to stay in that heavenly existence.
My point to all of this? Dying is easy. We will all die eventually. Living is hard. So take care of yourselves not for you. Take care of yourselves for all your loved ones who will suffer terribly when you’re gone. This is what kept me from taking my own life so many times over these painful years. I know that dying is easy.
Living is Hard. Drive On
Author: CW3 Roger Carpenter
Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied
“The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind–jump in.”– Charles R. Swindoll
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”– Abraham Lincoln
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”– William James
Daily Storytelling Time
Diagnosed with Cancer
Before Anthony Burgess become a famous author in 40s, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and informed by the doctors that he had only one year to live. At the time Burgess was broke and thought that he had nothing to leave behind for this wife, Lynne.
Burgess always knew that he had a talent for writing. He thought it would be a good idea to publish a novel so as to leave royalties behind for Lynne. One year should be enough, he thought. So he put a piece of paper into a typewriter and began writing. Of course he knew that his novel was very likely to be rejected by the publishers but at the time he couldn’t think of anything else to do.
“It was January of 1960,” he said, “and according to the prognosis, I had a winter and spring and summer to live through, and would die with the fall of the leaf.”
Burgess was focused and wrote energetically from early in the morning until late night. Before the year was through, he finished five and a half novels.
Contrary to the doctors’ predictions, his cancer went into remission and when that year was over Burgess did not die. The tumor disappeared altogether. This is how Burgess, who is best known for A Clock-work Orange, begun his long and successful career as a novelist. Over the years that followed, he wrote more than 70 novels. Without the death sentence from his disease, he may not have started writing, at all.
Like Anthony Burgess, many of us hide an extraordinary talent but most of the time we never start working on it. What would you do if you, like Burgess, had just a year to live? Would you live differently? Would you try to discover your full potential before it would be too late?