Dying to Live or Living to Die
by Randy Gage
It’s the holiday season and many people face depression this time of year. So I’m asking you all to please share this around again with those you love. Thanks – RG
I was cruising up I-95 in the Aston with the top down; Jonny Lang wailing through the speakers.
Why am I fighting to live;
If I’m just living to fight?
Why am I trying to see;
When there ain’t nothing in sight?
Why am I trying to give;
When no one gives me a try?
Why am I dying to live;
If I’m just living to die?
It’s one of his most haunting and poetic songs and one of my all-time favorites. But on this day, it made me very melancholy. Last weekend, my friend Carol killed her father, and then took her own life. He had been ill for a long time and had wanted to die. But that didn’t make it any less heart wrenching or shocking.
Obviously Carol was in great pain herself, and didn’t want to continue. She had a back injury and other health challenges recently and couldn’t help her sister Gail much to care for their father. I didn’t walk in her shoes, so can’t judge her or know what finally drove her to this extreme. But I do know that this is a sad and tragic end to a life that once shone brightly. And that wounds my heart and saddens my soul. I will miss my friend and always wonder what might have been.
Sometimes I wish for the arrogance of the fundamentalists, with their smug certainty of their guaranteed salvation. But alas, I can only hope that Carol and her father are in a better place, a kinder space.
I do know that death has saved them from more pain. But while that gives those of us left behind some degree of solace, there is still that gnawing hunger of what might have been.
I never met my father, so Father’s Day was reserved for my Grandfather on my Mother’s side. But he’s been gone for some years now. So every June I walk by the Hallmark display, but I have no one to buy a card for.
My grandmother is gone now too, so I have just one card to send for Mother’s Day in May. And I fear the day will come when I won’t have that either. And as much as I fear that, I fear the opposite even worse. Because no mother should ever have to bury her child.
The other day, my entire extended family met at Disney World. There were so many of us we had to take five cars. As is often the case in Florida, a summer shower came and drenched us. So we all ran to the cars, to go back to the hotel.
Then I noticed that Grandma wasn’t in any of the cars. So I sent everyone back and I waited alone for her. Finally I saw her standing alone, under a cloud. She had a rain poncho on and wanted to stay. So I agreed to walk in the rain through Disney World, just her and I.
But then I woke up, and it was a cold winter day, and the raindrops were really teardrops. What I wouldn’t give for the chance to walk in the rain with her one more time.
Today I am sad. But if you ask me most days, I’ll tell you I’m the happiest person I know. I love life, and I love my life. Each and every day I celebrate the blessings I have.
But it wasn’t always that way…
I have a journal from more than 15 years ago. No one else on the planet has ever seen it, or ever will. But it’s a suicide note.
Written in the depth of despair, when life simply seemed too arduous, too difficult, and too painful to endure any longer.
Had I acted upon that impulse then, I would have missed falling in love in Paris, flying the Concorde, and winning a World Series. I would have been cheated of some spectacular sunsets in Key West, winning the Viper shootout, and long nights talking with good friends until 4 am. I would have never heard Dmitry Hvorostovsky, rode an elephant, or seen my nieces and nephews grow into young adults.
I would have missed many of the things that make a life worth living…
I can’t tell any of this to my friend Carol anymore, so I’m telling you. If you are in pain, face seemingly insurmountable challenges, or wonder if things will ever change for you, all I can say is, please hang on, at least for another day.
You have gifts that no one else in the world can offer. You have skills you don’t even know you possess, love you haven’t experienced yet, and hope that has your name upon it.
There are songs you have yet to sing, dances you are meant to dance, and stories that only you will be able to tell.
If you’re facing financial challenges, I promise you they can be solved. Knowing what I now know about prosperity, I am shocked at how easy wealth can be manifested when your mind is right. If this is an issue for you, please go to http://www.randygage.com/ebook.html and download an electronic copy of my book, “Accept Your Abundance” at no charge.
If you’re facing medical challenges or pain, know that science is advancing every day at an exponential rate. There are bionic limbs, breakthroughs in stem cell research, and diseases being cured all the time.
If you suffer from severe depression, find a medical professional to help you. It may even be something as simple as a chemical imbalance that can be corrected with acupuncture, a change in diet, or medication.
A trained counselor can help you through unresolved issues of abuse, abandonment, or trauma. If money is an issue, there are mental health programs offered from the government, or seek help from a spiritual advisor.
If your heart is broken, it means you have the capacity to love and are loving! There is someone special out there, waiting to meet you.
As I look back on my life now – I wouldn’t change one single thing. I have loved and lost, failed in more businesses than I can count, faced almost certain death, fought drug and alcohol dependencies, and stared down many personal demons. And all of these things made me stronger, gave me wisdom, and allowed me to love. These challenges molded me, as yours are molding you.
There are joyous, wonderful experiences awaiting you, but you have to be here to receive them. Yes, it is darkest before dawn, but the dawn will always break through.
Please. If you’re still reading this far, you’re not ready to go yet. Many of us will miss Carol. And we don’t want to miss you.
So I’ll keep fighting to live;
Till there’s no reason to fight.
And I’ll keep trying to see;
Until the end is in sight.
You know I’m trying to give;
So come on give me a try.
You know I’m dying to live;
Until I’m ready to die.
And now, for the rest of you…
Most of you reading this are not contemplating suicide. But what are you doing with the gift of life you have now? When are you going to stop phoning it in, and start living your life out loud, in color and BIG?
Call someone today and tell them you love them. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Tip the waitress stupid money. Stay up all night. Send someone flowers. Send yourself flowers. Notice the stars.
Start that book, screenplay or opera you’ve been talking about for years. Go to a scary movie and stop starring in one. Take a chance. Take a risk.
Make love with the lights on. Make wild bed-breaking sex with the lights off. Unplug the TV for a month. Next time you go out to eat, order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a large chocolate milk.
Please. Live life. Live YOUR life.
And make it a life worth living.
Here’s the song:
Randy, that was such a beautiful, poignant post. It's amazing how the tragic moments in our lives tend to make us put things in their proper perspective. Thank you so much for sharing this and for just being you. Keep up the tremendous work!
Randy ... great post, shared it through all the buttons.
But, I wanted to bring up one thing ... the link to “Accept Your Abundance” doesn't end up anywhere with a free download. I hate to be "nickle and diming" the $7, but you're recommending that for folks "facing financial challenges", and I've not had a regular paycheck in FIVE YEARS and am in a position where $7 represents three bus fares to networking events, etc. and does not go our of my pocket lightly.
Is there a link to a page where that d/l is free, or a "coupon code" (I see that's an option on the order page) for it?
- Brendan Tripp
Socrates: "The unexamined life is not worth living" - answers your question. Human has the capacity to experience and to question life, therefore there is a potential for an answer. Path, search - becomes an answer for some; life for the sake of living or living for the sake of life...
If only you could bottle the thing that made you crumple up that suicide note and fight to live! So many people could turn their lives around. Would love to be able to find the switch that would make my friend see that life can change before she ends up like Carol. I am also really frustrated at not being able to understand why she never sees the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how small the issue is.
Now... You made me CRY............ + APPRECIATE YOU MORE.......... THANKS FOR BEING A LIGHT 2 THE WORLD (tears rolling down now)
Thank you so much for this post, for sharing your heart with the rest of us!
It is very much in the same vein of an article that I wrote regarding focusing on Love and Appreciation to get us through changes, grieving and differences.
My favorite part of your post:
"Call someone today and tell them you love them." ** We all should be willing to do that a little bit more!
Been sick for a week now. Not a great pre-Christmas start. Wasn't wanting to read anything today but this post is here, there, everywhere. Wow. So glad I read it. This is not a year I will be sad to see go but so much, in spite of that, so very precious and amazing. And at some point this year I had to make myself read the prosperity blog. Who's this guy? What trouble has he known? He's leaning against some fancy car I have NO CLUE of. Does he realize how important it is to grow, to change, not just wish for big cars? He has no idea... I read you anyway and I haven't regretted it. You have an idea or two. ;) I've dropped my preconceived ideas about the man leaning against the car and you've touched my life. Thanks for sharing from the real stuff here. It's where the heart is and that's where we all need to stay. Keep on keepin' on... (and strength to you during tough times...)
Just came here by chance following a friend's strange link from Tweeter... well, as a matter of fact things aren't going well.
But let's say what I read helped a bit. Let's see.
Randy first off let me say I am sorry for your loss of Carol. On my 40th birthday my friend Don took his life and I being the last one he spoke with got the call from the Coroner.
I love your blog. I love your consciousness.
Seven months ago I a 46 year old women was laying in my bed at an Alzheimer's care home as the family thought it would be better than a psych facility after a nervous breakdown left me paralyzed in fear of life and living again. To make a long story short I have been Suicidal since my recovery on and off for years. In the Spring of last year in walks a nurse who treated me like a person not a diagnosis. Slowly I realized I was still in there somewhere and picked up writing again. I got the courage to make a change which was a disaster however as to the point of your post I got to choose again because I did not give in to the darker impulses.
Fast forward to today I am living in my own Apartment out of care and working on developing a blog. All this from me who made attempts, researched assisted suicide all day long while laying in hopes I would die.
An old priest friend of mine was known for saying "Never Give up." Your post communicates that eloquently and though I am sorry for your pain and loss with Carol I think your post might save a life this holiday. I would not be surprised.
Keep being you the world needs you.
Oh how I love me some Jonny Lang! Always knew you were a man of exquisite taste!
Thanks for this blog today Randy. As always, you're changing lives with your words.
You are a gift.
Awesome. I clicked on the link to the Accept Your Abundance ebook and it takes me to the main page of your store. Can you tell me where the book is? Thanks Randy.
I could not open the song... What is the name of it?
Thank you for all of this... you have done...
Thank you for writing from the heart with these touching words. I love and respect your transparency and honesty. I loved hearing you at the Mastermind in Houston and was sorry not to get the chance to talk with you - next year I hope.
I find you a great inspiration.
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WOW Randy, i read this post like 5 times today and every time i read it i had goosebumps.
Thanks for sharing so personal thoughts. It makes me realize how fragile life really is and that you have to leave your life every minute and not just staring there.
I am thankful today to be able to have you in my life as a couch, leader, inspiration.
Thank you God Bless you
Hey Randy, happy thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.
Thanks you much for always sharing your great inspiration on how to reach our full potential and live a life of our own designed.
great submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I'm sure, you've a great readers' base already!
Wow! Another profoundly beautiful message. And here's the thing...I KNOW you saved at least one life with this. Not mine, (although you've done that too) but someone. I just know it! WOW! xo
If you have any problems with the e-book link, use this one: http://www.randygage.com/innerhealing/
Thanks for the heart-felt post, Randy. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Carol and her Dad - and the heaviness on your heart from this. The heaviness reflects the depth to which you let yourself Love. For some, they never get there - it's such a vulnerable place. For me, I've gotten stung recently, in holding that space in my heart for what I want in my life, and it just plain hurts a lot. Your words bring me some solace. Thank you so much for sharing.
I do think Carol and her Dad are in a better place.
May your heart be filled with comfort and Light.
Blessings to you,
Thank you, thank you and thank you. I have enjoyed it so very much. You are creme de la creme! God bless you and keep you always.
I promised myself I was going to get away from all the electronical devices while I am away but as much as taking time to reflect is so important, it's hard to be alone surrounded by so much passion by myself. I was so shocked when I read this post. I never shared what had happened to me when I asked you all to pray for me. It seems destined to share it now. My very dear friend committed suicide recently and I was so overwhelmed. The pain was indiscribable. The part that bothered me the most was that I didn't see it coming and I felt so responsible. She was my best friend. How could you not know? We knew eachother since 7th grade. There was not a thing that we didn't know about eachother. We shared every aspect of our lives and she truly was an angel, always jumping into any situation that called her. She was the homecoming queen in high school and I watched her beauty fade with divorce and disappointments in life that never seemed to me to belong to someone who was so caring and giving as she was. She always told me that God had a very special purpose for me and that all my experiences in life were strengthing me to handle the responsibilities of it. Her blonde hair and beautiful hazel eyes were something no one would ever forget seeing and the warmth of her soul could capture the evilist of us. I am so sorry Randy for your sadness and loss. Know that I also feel the void and wonder in these challenging times, what it's all about. I know one thing for sure and that is we are all brought together for a reason and I can see one very significant one now. I'll pray for you Randy as I know you will pray for me. It's times like these when I truly understand how important faith is. The memories remain. Reflecting now on how things could have been. I know it will all be worth it in the end. We can't reach for something that's already gone. I have to believe, it was worth it in the end.
This is deeply moving and I can completely relate.
My dad is a heroin addict, only met him a few times. My mom is a religious zealot who prays for my gay child.
I find the more capacity I have to feel authentically sad, the more capacity I have to feel everything--love, joy, happiness, fear, etc.
Beautiful, so glad we have you to guide us more deeply to ourselves.
THANK YOU for enlightening us, RANDY GAGE!
You must have the highest possible Emotional Intelligence EQ, because it is your sensitivity, passion & WINNER ATTITUDE that propels you to turn the most horrible things into LESSONS of PROSPERITY and LIFE!
Like Julie comments at the beginning of the thread, GRACIAS & THANK YOU.. And, I agree, this CAN be a BETTER WORLD, if we have more people like you. So keep on TEACHING US! God bless you! & lots of LOVE!!
Moving article, I lost my youngest brother to suicide. I remember helping out a friend in a beauty contest in 95, her sister had committed suicide a few years before and it was in the papers, I not understanding was very cold in my comment, "oh your sister committed suicide" Who knew six years later as a sibling I'd be experiencing something similar. Lets see I'm laid off, have this talent which I'm so hesitant to move forward with I have briefly entertained the thought, but I'd have missed some awesome new work I created, the birth of my nephew and his ability to say "I love you auntie"
If you havent seen the film Shawshank Redemption I highly recommend it -voted number one of all time by film buffs - it is amazing and so full of wonderful lessons - my favourite line in it is " Start living or start dying."
I read this a while back-and today for some reason I was compelled to read this again.
Thanks for reminding me, why I do the work i do..... the alternative is death-physical, emotional, spiritual death...
You are by far the most inspirational person I have ever had the pleasure to know...... Although I've never met you, you "talk" to me daily with your blog posts and the ALWAYS make my life better and urge me to be a better person... Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. Always in my prayers for your continued success and inspiration.....
I wrote this in 09.. Maybe it helps..
Life is a tree
Planted in fertile soil,
With love and support sets its roots,
Grows, blossoms, towers above.
\Life is a tree,
With withered leaves and naked branches,
Lacks root structure, care or want,
Begs for air, love, support,
Dying from the inside out,
Doesn't understand why.
\Life is a tree,
Bonded by the roots of other stronger trees,
Revived by the enduring love of a forest
That doesn't want to lose another tree.
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