A Year in the Death 2/23/21

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Marcus Aurelius’ statue in Rome. TravelHS/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

My vehicle battery died this morning.

I was in the parking lot at our veterinarian’s office in Boulder and left the radio and heat on during our 10-year-old Golden Retriever Athena’s acupuncture treatment. I did so because I had our nine-year-old Golden (Apollo) with me. He’s much more high strung than Athena and was freaking out because he (mistakenly) expected to be taken inside for an appointment after she was finished.

I thought music would help calm him down. And it did. It also completely drained the old battery in my 2011 Hyundai Tucson.


A Year in the Death 2/22/21

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Ezume Images/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

Although it is often attributed incorrectly to Mark Twain, it was the legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow who once observed:

“I’ve never killed a man. But I’ve read a number of obituaries with great pleasure.”

I thought of this famous quote immediately upon hearing about the death of Rush Limbaugh last week. And I was not alone. Millions of people shared the quote/misquote on social media , causing it to trend on Twitter for a while, in response to the passing of the divisive conservative icon.

I confess to initially enjoying a feeling of schadenfreude…


A Year in the Death 2/1/21

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Me and Dad at the finish line of the 2014 Clearwater, FL Marathon

“I think this is it,” my sister said softly through her tears.

It was Sunday, January 28, 2018, and I was standing outside of the Hangout in Gulf Shores, AL watching the waves crash onto the beach. I had just finished running The Big Beach Half Marathon with my wife and dear friends Stephanie and Patrick from Jackson, MS. My sister Jean was calling from Orlando, FL, where she and my brother Bruce were beginning the death vigil for our father, who had deteriorated rapidly over the previous few weeks.

“Are you going to…


A Year in the Death 1/28/21

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SimonTheSorcerer/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

Here, in the home of the brave
And the land of the free
The first word that baby learns is “more”…

It’s a nation of noses pressed up against the glass
They’ve seen it on the TV
And they want it pretty fast

You spend your whole life
Just pilin’ it up there
You got stack and stacks and stacks
Then, Gabriel comes and taps you on the shoulder
But you don’t see no hearses with luggage racks

I’ve loved Don Henley’s “Gimme What You Got” ever since it was released on his “The…


A Year in the Death 1/26/21

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Megan undergoing day three of her chemo treatments

“Megan has cancer.”

I could barely make out my wife’s words over the telephone because she was trying to form them while simultaneously crying, gasping for breath, and literally howling in sorrow. Never before had I experienced such powerful emotions in Kathy. And I hope I never will again.

The date was January 21, 2016 — five years ago last Thursday. I had just left a meeting with my web master, who was beginning the redesign of my Marathon Leadership® web site. I knew Megan had a doctor’s appointment that morning to review the biopsy of a orange-sized mass they…


A Year in the Death 1/22/21

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rangizzz/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

I had planned to publish this on Friday, January 8 — only two days after Part 1. But as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my computer died that day. So, I’m just posting it today. The good news is that this delay gave you plenty of time to contemplate the following short conversation between Life and Death (author unknown):

Life asked death, “Why do people love me but hate you?”

Death responded, “Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.”


A Year in the Death 1/21/21

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Grenar/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

This is my first post in two weeks. And while I hadn’t planned on sharing every daily contemplation during this year-long series on death, I certainly hadn’t planned on this long of a break either. But I didn’t have a choice.

On the morning of Friday, January 8 I decided to do some work at Denver International Airport before boarding my flight to Tampa. So I fired up my laptop, only to be greeted with with the dreaded “blue screen of death.” (And not the funny one pictured above.)

Long story short…after many hours…


A Year In the Death 1/7/21

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Nik Merkulov/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

This was not the post I had planned for today’s article in this series. But like many Americans, I was shocked, saddened, and sickened by the events in our nation’s capital yesterday — specifically the breaching of the U.S. Capitol. And has been the case since I began this series a week ago, I naturally thought about the events in the context of death and dying.

Because bodies are not the only things that die — political movements die as well. And yesterday we may have witnessed the death of Trumpism.

Not right away…


A Year in the Death 1/6/21

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Lee Yiu Tung/Shutterstock.com. Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

I recently came across the following (author unknown):

Life asked death, “Why do people love me but hate you?”

Death responded, “Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.”


A Year in the Death 1/5/21

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My wife took this shot of our tree the night we put it up.

Kathy and I took down our Christmas tree and other holiday decorations on Saturday afternoon. That was unusually early for us. But our schedules over the next few weeks are such that if we didn’t take the decorations down over the weekend, the next earliest we could take them down would be the weekend of January 16–17. And that seemed too long to keep them up.

As we worked, I started to notice how many times one of us alluded to what we should do differently next year when we put them up. …

David D. Knapp, Ph.D.

President of Marathon Leadership, LLC — an organizational and leadership consulting firm based in Thornton, CO. Learn more at http://marathonleadership.com/

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