Hi, my name is George Gould. I'm 62 years old. I am a husband, father, retired Naval Officer, and Army infantry veteran of Vietnam. And, oh yes, I am dying. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer, a a rare and particularly aggressive form of cancer with a 3% five-year survival rate for those in Stage 4, which is where I am. Unfortunately there is no Stage 5.
We usually think of death as an event but in fact I can tell you it is a process. From the time you are notified that you have an incurable illness to the time you finally cease breathing, you are in the process of dying. As time goes on, your physical condition deteriorates at varying rates and you are no longer able to do things you have always done and enjoyed. Smoking, drinking, traveling... One by one, they depart your life and you are a little more Mostly Dead, as Miracle Max says, and one step closer to being All Dead.
This is my first blog entry on my personal process of dying. I don't know how long I can go on with it but when it stops you will know that I have achieved All Dead and you will then be able to go through my clothes looking for loose change.
This blog, which I've called Going to the End of the Line, will address reflections on my life and the dying process, thoughts on the world I'm leaving behind for the rest of you, and my perspective on what comes after this life. Most of it will take the form of snapshots and sketches and bumper sticker slogans and lines. Why? 1) Because I believe that simplicity is generally superior to complexity in that complexity is usually simplicity wrapped in a layer of bullshit with the intent to deceive and bamboozle, and 2) I don't have the energy at this point in my journey to prepare you a meal of bullshit. Suffice it to say, though, that no one will confuse this blog with great literature, at least that of the verbose genre.
So come along with me on my journey to meet what ever comes next. Remember. It's a journey that one day you will take yourself. I hope that I am able to convince you that there's nothing to fear and that actually it's quite an interesting ride.
I blog at http://gcgould.com.