Double Down- Dying and Death

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Being diagnosed with a terminal illness has forced me to be aware of my own mortality.   It has given me the privilege of being able to prepare for my death.  Over the last 2 years I have gone to great lengths to organize a binder which i call my “Bug Out Binder”. It contains all of my insurance cards, ID, doctors names and contact info, reports and test, xrays, and every piece of medical documentation available about me.  How many times have you been to the doctor and they ask you to write on ONE line surgeries or hospitalizations? How about the list of mediations you currently take?  For me, these lists are EXTENSIVE!  Thanks to the binder I only have to flip to the designated section and pull out a copy- BAM!   Its sole purpose was to inform in the event I was ever unconscious or unable to answer questions.  It is the go to place for anything of importance in the event a sudden death or impairment.  If i end up in the hospital for any reason and needed someone to pay my bills, or plan my funeral- its all there.  It sounds morbid but honestly when I die my family has 2 things to do. Use the binder to tie up things concerning my home, will, etc. and to mourn by celebrating my life.

I received a message yesterday from my ex-fiances roomate that simply said “call me”.  I thought oh no, AJ was in an accident, got arrested, or was hurt.  I was not expecting to hear- “AJ died”.  One day later and it still doesn’t feel like its real.  AJ was a nationally ranked competitor in bodybuilding, didnt drink or party since he was 18, and his life was work, train, eat, and sleep.  Healthy right?            Dead at 43 years old.  He died in his sleep and until the autopsy nobody knows why…..

AJ and I met in 2009 on a fitness related dating website. He lived in Chapel Hill, NC.  Being that he lived 5 hours away I didnt expect a relationship could ever work.  Not only did it work but we planned to get married in 2012.  He ran into some legal problems and his life was literally turned upside down and we had to call the wedding off.  We remained friends though. Best friends.  He was my rock.  ALWAYS there for me and ALWAYS had my back.  Last night I was reading through our facebook messages and stumbled across him explaining fractions to me from a couple weeks ago and It just made me smile.  Sometimes I really do resemble the subject in ALL of the blond jokes haha!        I still can’t believe he is gone…

My heart is breaking right now. No, its broken and shattered in a million pieces.  Im trying not to cry because he would only tell me to stop sniveling and crying like a baby and be happy. Be happy because he is in heaven with my other bodybuilder boyfriend Ken who died in 2008, also at the age of 43, and with many other of our friends, family members, and  a few bodybuilding legends.     On a side note, i SHUDDER to think of his conversations with Ken about what a nightmare of a girlfriend i was over steak and unlimited sushi!  My point is, AJ would NOT want to see me cry, it broke his heart when I would cry and now would be no different.  He would want everyone who knew him to be happy. Not because he died an untimely death but because he no longer has to work 4 jobs to pay restitution for his legal troubles, he has a permanent seat at the “Heaven” buffet, and he can now spend eternity lifting weights, eating, and sleeping and watching baseball with no worries, responsibilities, or stress.         I’m trying ……

How do you mourn the death of someone and also be happy and content knowing they are in a better place?  Why would God choose to take him NOW after he has worked so hard over the past year to re-build his life and get back in the game after being locked up for a year?  Why has God chosen to take such a beautiful, healthy, man with unlimited potential in life but leave me here struggling to breathe every minute of every day? How do I make sense of any of this?

I pride myself on always being prepared.  I’m  prepared for my own death, not this….

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Lysa Dilley

Exploring Lungs For Lysa. What it was like, what happened, and what its like now.... Hang on cause its a wild ride!

14 thoughts on “Double Down- Dying and Death”

      1. ok, thank you for commenting on my post. Please keep in mind that THIS BLOG IS FOR MY COLLEGE ENGLISH CLASS. I am super happy to be getting comments and feed back.
        Lets justI believe there is a common denominator between all of us and just try to keep it nice.

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  1. wow, that was both beautiful and powerful. It forced me to break into tears. I considered AJ a good friend and one of the most loyal and outspoken people I’ve ever met in my life. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. He always spoke highly of you. For those of us that were lucky enough to know him, it is a huge loss for all of us. My heart and thoughts are with you always

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  2. Just about the most human thing I have read. You are an amazing honest and inspiring girl. Sorry you are faced with this tragedy.Keep writing Lysa!

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  3. Thank you for writing such a touching tribute. Unfortunately I never got the pleasure of getting to shake that man’s hand in person, but I’ve had the pleasure of knowing his kind and inspiring words. I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for him over the years. He will be truly missed. Best of luck to you Lysa.

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  4. I did not know AJ except from the Bodybuilding boards where is persona was larger than life. All of us old cats who have been around for many years knew he was a good guy who spoke his truth. There is a definite sense of loss across all the boards. RIP Big Guy, I will always site you as an example of someone who put his money where his mouth was.

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  5. So sorry to hear about your loss Lysa. It’s a beautiful post, and just a reminder to us all to live in the present, and value every day we have. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet AJ, but I sure do miss Ken 🙂
    Kevin W

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  6. Great words. He was a great guy, I will miss him greatly, especially his attitude :)) I’m sorry for your loss.

    Sleep well old man,Bahahahaha, rise and continue 🙂

    Cheers REK

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  7. AJ,my heart is laden with sorrow.you were,you are one person I’m glad I got to “meet” albeit online.you were always there to give advice even during your own troubles.AJ you’ll always be missed…rocco.

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  8. I only of him through his posts on the bodybuilding boards but he was knowledgeable and well versed. Your tribute is beautiful. My thoughts are with you and his loved ones. Stay strong.

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  9. Ian was a personal friend of mine. And in the past year we had gotten pretty close. He was at my house for Super Bowl, and most of the UFC fights. I hung out with him friday night… and again on Sunday. Never thought Id hear what I did monday morning. Ive never known a more simple, honest, to the point, grumpy, but funny man. He was unique, and he will be missed. Im proud to be able to call myself one of his friends.
    RIP big man…

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