• JMac

When I'm Gone

And when I'm gone just carry on don't mourn Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice, just know that I'm lookin' down on you smilin' And I didn't feel a thing so baby, don't feel no pain, just smile back

Death as a thought didn't bother me for a long time.

I was at one point convinced I wouldn't survive childhood. As we have previously discussed, I've cheated death more than once and walked away relatively unscathed.

The more you have to live for, the more the thought of death will bother you. I have a lot to live for these days. I'm still not scared of dying, but I've vowed to make sure I'm prepared as possible.

Death never crossed my mind on a more deep level than worrying that my former stepdad would murder me until I was about fifteen. Around then, my aunt passed from cancer. It was my first funeral, and I didn't really know what to do or think. It was sad and it was weird not having her around anymore. The sandwiches at the reception had butter on them. Butter and sandwiches don't mix.

The following year, three guys I knew died in a tragic car accident. I was stunned. They were basketball players and larger than life. Then a girl I went to high school with got hit by a car walking down the sidewalk when the driver had a heart attack. . Then the brother of a teammate of mine hung himself.

Tragic stories, but not anything I could do about them, so I didn't really feel the full impact. A few more car accident victims and cancer deaths followed suit. My dad's brother died of cancer as well. We went to the funeral out of town. Arranging an accessible van for my dad's wheelchair was hard. My dad also had a feeding tube at this time. He was distraught beyond what he could elucidate, and he focused his grief on a Nanaimo bar. He wanted a Nanaimo bar at his brother's funeral. He hadn't eaten food in about five years and was fed by feeding tube. He almost choked and made it a double dip at the funeral home.

For the first time, I had to consider my own mortality when my oldest was born. We had to consider things like "what do we do with our soon to be child if one of us dies? What about both of us?" A will was made. Plans were put into place. Life insurance was purchased.

News flash - the BMI HATES me. My tiny yet eight months pregnant wife scored much lower on the BMI than giant me, and I pay around double what she does for premiums for the same coverage, despite she being the one who loves extreme sports and competing in the annual Kumite.

We had kids. I developed a new mission, to love and protect at all costs. My affairs were in order for pretty much the first time ever.

Then, we started our dad group and dads started dropping like flies. And wives. The need for life insurance became all the more necessary.

In the last four years of Dad Club London, we have lost three dads and a wife. We try to remember and honour them whenever possible. We started a scholarship, got meals, flowers, donated to gofundmes, buy Christmas presents for the kids at Christmas, the works. Don't ever let people forge their legacy.

I try to honour my own dad every year on Father's Day by secretly buying a random family dinner. I honour his birthday by buying food and handing it out to homeless people. He loved seeing other people happy.

Seeing Kobe Bryant and his daughter perish together scared the shit out of me. Finally hashing out my dad's estate with my New Zealand family pissed me off. It's been a hard week.

My overall message to everyone in this blog is threefold:

1. Death is inevitable. Live life to the fullest and make every one count.

2. Get your affairs in order. Have life insurance. Don't rely on GoFundMe to put you in the ground and some food on your table. If you need a will, contact Jeffrey Bell and tell him I sent you. If you need life insurance, my main man Chris Burton will move mountains to find the coverage that works for you. Don't leave your family hanging or let the government meddle in your wishes.

3. Do you. You don't owe anyone anything when you're alive, let alone when you die. There isn't a price tag on your legacy and memories, those are created every single day.

4. Never forget to tell people what they mean to you. You never know when it will be your last chance.

My time will come one day. I don't know when. But my family will be taken care of, not have a shred of doubt as to what they meant to me, and I'll be remembered with a smile as someone who gave the most shit about the people who mattered to him, and was always there when they needed him and kept everyone safe and feeling loved.

We're all gonna die. Let's make this life count.


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