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Old 11-14-2011, 11:50 PM   #41
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Thanks, everyone. You've pointed out some gaps in my attempt to describe the situation, and I'll be writing more.

Funeral on Tuesday, followed by a potluck memorial for 150 people. My friend apparently has a legendary reputation for helping Hawaii Army servicemembers & veterans.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:07 AM   #42
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Very sorry to hear this. It can happen to anyone. My neighbor keeled over in his garage about 20 years ago. He was 25 or so. Aneurism. You just never know. As long as he was happy with what he was doing, your friend lived a good life, retired or not.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:27 AM   #43
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So sorry to read about your loss, Nords. Take care.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:52 AM   #44
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Nords:

Thanks for posting and sharing. As a fellow military member, this forum and your book are really making me re-think where I want to go w/ my life, esp since I have school age kids right now. I struggle between staying in, a bridge career or pushing for ER so I can spend more time w/ them while they're young. I am so glad I came across this site to let me know there are many options out there vs "just one more year."

Mahalo, my friend.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:44 AM   #45
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Wow ... that sucks.

Reminds me of my FIL ... retired in May on his 65th b-day. Died in August of a anuerism.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:51 AM   #46
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Met a guy who said he does "LWD days" monthly (Live like you Were Dying).

He goes out and does "something he was always putting off doing".

He's working now - he plans to keep adding monthly LWD days until he retires.

Not a bad idea.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:20 AM   #47
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Very sorry for your loss Nords.
Your friend had a tremendous career of service, and I suspect this was a very large part of his passion for life.
He departed this earth far too early and with a bucket list showing more to do, but when I think about it, those who are most engaged with life always leave us before they should, no matter the age.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:02 AM   #48
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Let me add my condolences, and, if I may, let me wane wax philosophical...

Earlier this year a good friend ended his own life. He was a happy-go-lucky sort, and I wonder if anti-depressants and/or sleeping pills prescribed to him after a divorce might have colored his outlook. Very shocking, as it seemed so unlike him. I had just spoken to him the week before...

I was pretty torn up for a week or two, but basically grew fatigued with feeling that way, and decided enough was enough, much like after 9/11. It was finally time to stop obsessing. Felt that way after my mom passed, as well.

Guess we're all getting to that stage in life. As a younger man, of course there were deaths, usually two generations removed from me, with the occasional younger person dying in an auto accident, or rare medical condition. Of course, now many of the people of my parents' generation are gone; I think my dad is one of maybe two or three left from his high school class. Coming from a small town, I knew many of them, and some were parents of my friends.

It's now becoming "our" turn. I can think of maybe six or seven from my class that have passed, including one last year, from diabetes-related problems. I'm not being overly morbid about it, but it does give one pause to look at the obits, and see people my age (57) and younger start to succumb to diseases of "old age", like heart disease or diabetes. Optimistically, I have maybe 30 years left, although it could be much shorter. Unfortunately, I still NEED to work, as opposed to "one more year", but I'm approaching the point where that decision is related to "how much more do I need", versus "I still have a bucket list", and I ain't getting any younger...

I've had a pretty good life, so can't complain too much. All we can hope for is to live it our way, as much as practical, knowing the grim reaper could be miles away, or right outside the door. Perhaps, if you could "talk" to your friend, he might not have many regrets. Let's hope so.
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:41 AM   #49
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So sorry about your friend Nords !
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:24 AM   #50
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I am sorry that you've lost your friend, Nords. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:33 AM   #51
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I learned from my father. In the very late 1970's he was working in a high stress job that he no longer enjoyed. He returned to work after a nine month medical leave. One month later he decided to retire early-at 59. The numbers were not great but my parents decided to do it. One of the reasons was that he learned that the average lifespan of a person on pension in his company was 67-68. He also saw a few co-workers die prior to their retirement.

They moved to the west coast. Between golfing three days a week, a small part time job that he enjoyed, and no workplace stress his health improved dramatically. He passed away a few years ago after drawing his DB pension for just under 30 years. And my mother had that pension for another few years until her passing. No sickness until the final year or so and he lived in his own condo and drove his car until the time of his passing. I am convinced that his longevity and his enjoyment of his retirement was directly linked to his decision to take early retirement.

I was 'retired' at 59 but we were financially ready for it. No worries for us.
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:44 PM   #52
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Nords - sorry to hear about your friend and neighbor - an aneurism is something that can happen suddenly - I had a co-worker in his 20's dies of an aneurism the day before he was to go into surgery to relieve it.

Some people feel a duty to work and serve...I had a supervisor who told me of his desire to serve - I tried to tell him he had served and could now retire....but to no avail. It sounds like he was that type of guy - if not at work, then volunteering. Your story reminds us life is short, but that also people are different and have different needs and goals.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:15 PM   #53
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I am planning to retire next yr at 62 yrs. This is after 30 yrs of medical practice. I had a friend who was a surgeon who kept on working till he was 71.
Everytime I asked him when he is going to retire, he responded annoyingly, that he will not know what to do and will keep on going. One day when I was making "rounds" I saw one of the doctor's wife in the elevator! I asked jokingly, what the heck are you doing here? She said: have you heard Ed is in the hospital and he is dying!! Come let's see him. When we walked into his room, I knew he was at the last stage of his life. He was unconscious, and gasping for air. His wife told us he has Stage IV stomach cancer. I heard his wife saying, he did not have enough time to enjoy his life. He died that very same day.

He did it his way. I'm sure I have other ideas. I love my work, but there is a time to quit. I guess to each his own.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #54
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Nords, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. Live every day to the fullest as one never knows. Best wishes to you and your family.
He said it for me. Can't say it any better.

It is a painful reminder that this will happen more often as we get older.

Be well.

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Old 11-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #55
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I am so sorry to hear of your friend's death. It does sound like he enjoyed his work and wanted to make sure of his financial security. I wonder though, if he knew in advance that was the day he was going to die, would he have still been working?

I just had this conversation with a friend recently. I was saying that if a year from now either myself or my DH was terminally ill, I know that I would be upset with myself for working my part-time job. I still enjoy my job and the people that I work with, but it does have a schedule. I took my DH to the airport yesterday and he is enjoying the next few weeks with our DD, DS-in-law and our precious granddaughter in San Diego, while I worked today and our weather was dreary and rainy all day. I can't explain to people why I am working, when I don't really understand it totally myself. Maybe your friend was in a similar situation. As usual, you have really given me something to ponder. Take care, my friend.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:57 PM   #56
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Nords, I am sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was a terrific guy and you were fortunate enough to have been his friend. Cherish your memories.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:21 AM   #57
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Doug, my condolences as well.

Life is difficult to plan for in advance - there is so much wisdom in an oft repeated phrase in this thread:

Live every day as though it were your last.


I try to, but not sure that I'm doing it very well.

I have never regretted retiring in April from a very fast paced stressful job that involved frequent lengthy travel and constant interaction over 3 continents. Very glad that I did not have any kind of "one more year syndrome ".

Wishing all the members of this forum the very best of living in the fullest way possible.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #58
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Thank you for the well written and personal note. It's been said many times here but very sorry that you had to lose a friend. If the potluck is going to have 150 people, he must have been well liked and very active. On a personal note, I am aiming for next yr and now know what that 1 yr syndrome feels like. Just a little more...etc These types of reminders, although sad, are helpful.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:46 AM   #59
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I am so sorry to hear of your friend's death. It does sound like he enjoyed his work and wanted to make sure of his financial security. I wonder though, if he knew in advance that was the day he was going to die, would he have still been working?

I just had this conversation with a friend recently. I was saying that if a year from now either myself or my DH was terminally ill, I know that I would be upset with myself for working my part-time job. I still enjoy my job and the people that I work with, but it does have a schedule. I took my DH to the airport yesterday and he is enjoying the next few weeks with our DD, DS-in-law and our precious granddaughter in San Diego, while I worked today and our weather was dreary and rainy all day. I can't explain to people why I am working, when I don't really understand it totally myself. Maybe your friend was in a similar situation. As usual, you have really given me something to ponder. Take care, my friend.
Thanks to all who mentioned this. I didn't think about "doing what he wanted to do".

He loved the military, and he was good at it. But I think he was doing what he thought he "should" do, not so much what he "wanted" to do. He might have felt guilty if he was able to work but did not. If he still owed a mortgage then he would've felt bad if he retired to enjoy life, leaving all those easy paychecks on the table. I think paying off his mortgage was the goal that would "give him permission" to retire.

Another issue might be cultural-- he came from a background that places a very high value on hard work and providing for family. One of the reasons he emigrated was for economic opportunity, and I think that's a significant motivation to keep working.

So was he doing something he liked? Sure. Was he doing something that he really wanted to do? Not so much-- yet the pay made it tolerable while salving his conscience.

If he had quit his civil-service job any time during the last decade to spend more time with his family, would he have been able to adjust his work/mortgage attitude in order to be good company with them? I think so. He just needed to figure out his exit strategy... but the timeline exceeded his lifespan.

Did his family want to spend more time with him? Yep. Over 300 people paid their respects at the funeral. I watched that hard-as-nails lieutenant colonel cry some more while trying to lead his dad's service. I watched another Army veteran-- a nurse, no less-- break down a half-dozen times while trying to explain what his father meant to him. I watched an O-3 adjutant crying her own eyes out at losing her mentor. She even chanted a mele as she paid her respects at his coffin. I watched one of his golfing buddies, who's in his 80s and has been on blood-pressure medication for over half a century, try to understand why his "younger brother" died before he did. I'll bet he had a few private pithy words of advice about when to stop working. Spouse and I were in that church for over two hours. We were at his house afterward for nearly four hours.

We have to assure ourselves that we have enough money for the rest of our lives. Just one more year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR View Post
Let me add my condolences, and, if I may, let me wane wax philosophical...

Guess we're all getting to that stage in life. As a younger man, of course there were deaths, usually two generations removed from me, with the occasional younger person dying in an auto accident, or rare medical condition. Of course, now many of the people of my parents' generation are gone; I think my dad is one of maybe two or three left from his high school class. Coming from a small town, I knew many of them, and some were parents of my friends.

It's now becoming "our" turn.

I've had a pretty good life, so can't complain too much. All we can hope for is to live it our way, as much as practical, knowing the grim reaper could be miles away, or right outside the door. Perhaps, if you could "talk" to your friend, he might not have many regrets. Let's hope so.
Yeah, I'm not used to this.
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Old 11-18-2011, 10:01 AM   #60
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Nords, it is natural to ponder these things. While it is difficult to see past the sorrow, take heart in knowing that he touched the lives of hundreds. He had a deep and profound impact on many. The contribution that he made, in all aspects of his life, was quite remarkable. He will be dearly missed, but the influence he had, has and will continue to, color the lives of many.

T
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