prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recent thoughts on death.



I have been thinking about death the last few days. A friend of mine recently passed away. The death was sudden and unexpected. The friend was young. The face of my friend has been in my mind almost constantly. I am thinking about my death, which cannot be too far away. I will be 90 on my next birthday.

I have eight siblings. Five sisters and three brothers. We were all married. Siblings and mates add up to 18 people. Seventeen have passed away as of this year. I am the only one still alive.  I am working on my memoirs so that something of me will survive.

You can see that I am familiar with death. I have stepped over the bodies of dead Japanese soldiers in the jungles of Peleliu. I have lived through the deaths of my parents, my siblings, my oldest son, a grandson, and my wife of 63 years. Plus many friends and and relatives. I grieve for them all. I miss them and even in the midst of my life that I try to keep in a busy state, I often feel very lonely. And left behind.

My daughter and son in law were recently at the funeral of his 94-year-old mother. Their four-year-old grand daughter, my youngest great grand daughter, went up to the open casket. She stared for awhile and then said “I will see you in heaven, Mee- Maw.”  I pray that she will.

I am a fatalist with a mixed up opinion on the subject. I do not believe in predestination. Predestination and fatalism is the same thing. So you can see how mixed up I am. When I was overseas in the Army I felt that when my time came I would be killed. I did not feel real fear when shrapnel was falling around me. One night on Okinawa I was on sentry duty. Nearby an ammunition dump was exploding. Shards of metal fell from the sky for several hours. They made a terrifying sound as they fell. You felt that it was falling on your head. I felt uneasy but was not terrified.

One time we were in tents. Each man had dug a foxhole near the tent. When we came under an artillery attack every one would run out and get in their foxhole. The foxholes were muddy with water on the bottom. More often than not I would stay in my warm and dry cot and hope for the best. Bravery or stupidity?

I guess that I am not so fatalistic today. I take many prescription pills twice a day. They are for blood pressure, seizure control, bladder operation, prostrate shrinking, gout, and vascular health. I would like to throw them all out. Except for the one that allows me to urinate. I would like to keep on urinating until I die.

I do not intend to end my life by artificial means. Two of my brothers shot themselves. They were sweet guys and I loved them. I was so shocked. For several years I carried a small pistol in my pocket. I had gone to some expense and a lot of training to qualify for a concealed weapon permit. I have decided to stop this. I have turned my pistol in. I feel better without one. I think that the risk of using a gun against myself is greater than the need to carry self-protection. I do get depressed. I do not wish risk imposing the trauma of my suicide on my loved ones. I try to keep busy.


Death is an interesting and fascinating part of life. But I plan to wait for it.

4 comments:

  1. Hang in there......we certainly enjoy reading your blogs.

    Bigfoot in TX

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    1. Thanks. I am. Thanks for your kind remark.

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Daddy. I love that you are so open and I'm grateful that you have worked so hard to leave a record of your life for us. I am also very interested in all I have learned of those who came before us because of your efforts. I think I can understand your preoccupation with death as I have officially been a senior citizen for some years now. However, I still think that being old (or left behind) beats the alternative.

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    1. I agree. I am so curious about what is going to happen next, I hate to leave and miss it.

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