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A very good friend
Old 12-06-2017, 11:49 AM   #1
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A very good friend

I just found out my very good friend passed away several days ago. He was 53. His wife and him were on a cruise and she found him in their cabin on the floor. Last time I talked to him he was boasting how he was healthy as a horse and never had a thing wrong with him.
He and I have spent many many hours talking about what we would do during retirement, what we would go see, how we would spend the average day, everything. Our wives always teased us that the first one to say the "R" word when we got together had to buy a round. He was about a year away from FIRE.
Don't ever let your fears stop you from your dreams. There is no scheduled end date. I will miss him dearly.
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:53 AM   #2
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That is so sad. Did he have a heart attack?
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Old 12-06-2017, 11:59 AM   #3
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That is so sad. Did he have a heart attack?
Don't know yet, will find out when I have the opportunity to speak to his wife.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:05 PM   #4
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My condolences. Long-term good friends are irreplaceable. Many of my high school and college buddies passed during their 40s and 50s. It's a reminder to make each day count in some way.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:29 PM   #5
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Condolences, that must have been awful.

A co-worker of mine passed away on his first full day of retirement, also on vacation. It was heart-wrenching to see all the folks at the service whom I'd just seen (and some family members I'd met for the first time) at the retirement party a couple of weeks earlier.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:34 PM   #6
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I lost 3 good friends between 59-67. It is terrible.
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When is it an omen?
Old 12-06-2017, 12:50 PM   #7
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When is it an omen?

So sorry to hear about your friend. I hope you find solace sooner than later.

Stepping back, I note that external events often prompt me to re-examine my plans, my priorities, my life. About 7 months ago, the sudden death of a close friend who had retired just a year earlier affected me deeply. As a result, I determined to shave 2 years off my own FIRE date.

I know that panic reactions to unexpected events can be dangerous. But surely it is at least as dangerous to ignore their lessons. We observe, we learn, and if we are wise, we draw sound conclusions and apply them to our own lives.

When someone close to us passes on, it's a perfectly reasonable exercise to consider how best to deploy whatever time we may have left.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:51 PM   #8
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So sorry. So sad for his family and friends
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:07 PM   #9
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Sorry for your loss.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:20 PM   #10
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So very sorry for his passing. Thank you for the reminder to all of us that each day is so important...best to enjoy the here and now, whether working or retired.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:28 PM   #11
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I was just telling my wife that, at my age and health status point, I could pass away now and consider it a win. I still want to live forever, though, but I am on bonus-time!

I have many, many health problems, all but one related to the type 1 diabetes I was blessed with at age 6 in 1960. My parents did not think I would "outlive adolescence," as they told them at the time, and gave me absolutely no discipline or guidance except for some morals. I was left alone to do whatever I desired. So I did not follow any dietary advice, even by 1960s standards: "Don't eat sugar and he'll be fine." I was horrible, with the resulting fasting, monthly childhood blood sugars in the 7-800s! I continued this until the life-saving human growth hormone stopped helping me out in my early 20s.

By 26 I had the start of kidney failure. I accidentally got a remarkably good Dr who turned me around. He told me that I had a life expectancy of 40 if I didn't change my evil ways and 45 if I did. I did. By 42, I had a life-saving kidney and pancreas transplant. It literally saved my life. My Dr had explicitly told my wife the week before that I had about one month to live if I didn't get a kidney transplant. I was, of course, already on the list, etc, etc. I got one with about three weeks left on his estimate. My blood pressure had been 260/125 and I was totally maxxed out on BP meds. A few days after my transplant my BP was nearly normal.

That was over 21 years ago. Since then, I have, literally, lived an extra 21 joyful years of happy life longer than I was scheduled for. I have been on disability for the last 19 years thanks to diabetes-related vascular dementia. I was smart before the dementia and am now doing fine with some adjustments and accommodations but, thanks to short-term memory damage, I cannot learn new things fast enough to continue working in real-time programming. I was sort of embarrassed at first but have grown to appreciate my situation for its good points. I still function normally and people who don't know me can't tell right off that I am demented.

My wife still works for the health insurance but we are FI due to education and good tech jobs and no children (I do not like them and had no desire to pass along the diabetic genes).

My Point:
I have won the game. I am so f'ing happy I could just sh!t, as the placard on one of my bosses' desk read. (He really was a happy guy!)

I still want to outlive my money. My wife is retiring at the earliest possible insurance-related time and we have plans to go on lots of vacations with all my "extra" time!

So, I agree with the assessment that one should enjoy life now with a hopeful eye on the future but concentrate on "Living" today. You just never know what will happen. Rarely is it as "good" as my unforeseen events have been for me.

Happy to be here,
Mike D.
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:46 PM   #12
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A co-worker, 55, died in his sleep (at least he got that blessing) a few weeks ago while visiting family. We heard the news from his boss, who only knew it "appeared to be his heart." He had never been known to have any health worries whatsoever.

The co-worker had been talking retirement, but couldn't quite make himself pull the trigger because he was very wedded to his job. He felt no one would attend to "his customers" as well as he did. Perhaps he was right, but at any rate, he never got to retire.
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:31 PM   #13
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Not long after I retired a guy who worked on my team died from a heart attack. He was 50-52 looked like the picture of health. Avid golfer who walked anytime he could.

You never know. If any of us knew next week was our last, what would we do different?
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:31 PM   #14
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Hey Mike D. WhataHellofaStory!!!

Sad that you had some dark turns, but what a damn fine job of making lemonade with those F-ing lemons. My favorite boss had type 1. He was overjoyed to pass the 50 mark as he figured it wasn't for him. He's in his late 60's and doing fine.

To OP. Thanks and condolences. Our days on this rock are finite and unknown. Reminders of that, while painful, are needed. DW had a health scare that was part of my decision to FIRE earlier this year. A couple months later, a guy a few cubes down from me collapsed and died at his desk (ticker). Submitted my retirement that week.
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Old 12-06-2017, 03:48 PM   #15
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Mike D, my cousin had type 1 diabetes by 1yo. My aunt was told he would never see 18. He is now 67. My aunt put the entire family on a diabetic diet to keep him healthy. Even so he had some scary moments as a kid. By his late 50's he had to go on disability due to nephropathy and other problems. Wishing you the best for many happy years to come)
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:10 PM   #16
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... Happy to be here,
Mike D.
Thanks for sharing, Mike.
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:16 PM   #17
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My condolences to you on the loss of your good friend. It's a heart wrenching time; no doubt.

The day I retired - only 16 months ago - I told my DW that if I died tomorrow you can know that I died a happy man. My father had the first of several strokes at the same age I retired (59) and was never the same. He lived to 83 but my mother took care of most of his needs for a good 20 year period before he passed.

As a result, from my perspective, I'm on borrowed quality-of-life time. My DW is the truly the love of my life; my kids - to my eye - are thriving; I have two beautiful grandkids, and my extended family (siblings and their spouses) all get along very well. I have a small but close circle of friends who I enjoy being with on a regular basis. Very little drama in my life...FOR NOW. I know it can all change tomorrow!

While my perception of being on "borrowed time" doesn't mean I'm out grabbing life by the tail every day (in fact, most days to the contrary...I'm a real homebody), it DOES mean that I try to live life with a sense of gratitude and generosity towards others. I succeed maybe 80% of the time. The other 20%, well I fall short.

Hearing of the loss of someone so young as the OP's good friend certainly makes me reflect on the need to continue forward with a positive attitude. I wish it didn't take such a story to confirm that need.

Again, sorry for your loss.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:37 PM   #18
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I am so very sorry for your loss. Good friends are very hard to replace. Fortunately, I have not had to go through this yet, but we are all getting older. I was wondering if you had retired yet, but saw on your profile that it is planned for 2018. I hope that you are able to retire and do the things that your buddy and you talked about doing.

MikeD-What a story and I love your attitude. I hope that your bonus time is many, many more years.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:45 PM   #19
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Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. These stories always help to remind me why I'm not working any more. We need to enjoy our lives while we still have them because you never know what tomorrow may bring.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:57 PM   #20
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Sorry for you and the loss of your friend. It just reinforces what I tell people about my early retirement: I would rather have more time and better health, even if I have less money.
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