I know the question you are asking. "Why did you want to die? ... or Why didn't you want to live?" Here is the answer. I didn't want to die. If I could have waved a magic wand and lived for 200 years, I would have. Unfortunately, that's not an option. Therefore, since death is inevitable, the better question is... do I want to live as long as humanly possible OR do I want to control the time and manner and circumstances of my death? That was my choice (and yours). I chose what was most appealing to me.
Let me ask you a question. After you die, you can be remembered by a few-line obituary for one day in a newspaper when you're too old to matter to anyone anyway... OR you can be remembered for years by a site such as this. That was my choice and I chose the obvious.
“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”
― Antonio Porchia
I wish there were a different word for "suicide" because that word has become so stigmatized. But, whether I said “suicide” or “taking my life” or “ending my life” or "beginning my death" or whatever… it still amounts to the same thing.
You will rarely get any details for why a person committed suicide, but that won't be the case with me! In fact, this may be the most detailed example of a suicide letter in history - something to be entered into the Guinness Book of Records! My hope is that it is.
I sent personalized suicide letters and emails to many people I know – letters that should have arrived in the morning of August 15th, 2013 – just hours after I did the deed. I also sent boxes with personal mementos to quite a few people in the hope that they will remember me better.
I’ve planned to end my own life for as long as I remember. I didn’t put a date on it, however, until June 11, 2012. I never accepted the (what I would call…) archaic notion that I should simply die at some point – either in a long drawn out miserable death or in an instant for which I was not prepared. That was an insane thought in my orderly world and I knew the only way I could be confident about going out the way I wanted was to do it at a relatively early age.
I was pretty much comfortable living a somewhat abnormal life because I was simply not willing to make the necessary sacrifices in order to have a more normative life. Besides, I always felt that being different was something to be proud of. Although “normal” is a moving target and is nothing like it was 30 years ago, I stayed well in front of the term for most of my life and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Despite what you might think or what the conventional wisdom is regarding suicide, none of those reasons apply to me.
1) I had no health issues. I was only sick three times in my adult life that I can remember – and all three were self-induced (accidental). I didn’t miss a scheduled day of work in over 25 years. I had no diseases. I never drank. I never took drugs. I never smoked. Thus, I had no physical problems other than occasional acid indigestion – but, that was usually after eating a whole pan of brownies! So, I admit, I did have brownie issue.
2) I had no legal issues. I had never been arrested, much less convicted. I’d never seen a jail from the inside. Other than traffic tickets, I was a model citizen – or at least I pretended to be and nobody could prove otherwise.
3) I had no financial problems. I sold my house which was completely paid for in 1998. The same year I bought $30,000 in 1/10 ounce gold coins and pre 1965 silver coins. Gold was $300/ounce when I bought it and silver was $4/ounce. Gold went up to $1,700 and Silver to $44 making my stash worth over $200,000.
And, I had other assets, including a 401K. Besides, everyone who knows me knew I was extremely cheap. I wanted for nothing.
4) I had no loss of anyone close to me that I couldn’t bear. My mom and dad died at elderly ages and neither were unexpected. My brother and sister are healthy and active. I never had anyone die who was extremely close to me other than my parents. Other more distant relatives and secondary friends have died, but nobody close.
5) I had plenty of activities in which I participated – including church choir, monthly poker, friends, family, internet, and SportsInReview.com. I did not feel lonely or in any way unappreciated for who I was.
6) I was not depressed. Anyone who says I was is either ignorant or a liar. I stressed out at times – especially in the workplace, because my tendency was to work myself to death. But, I was “retired” for 18 months before I ended my life and I didn’t have any stress during that time. In some respects, I feel like I was retired the last 15 years of my life because doing sports statistics could hardly be considered "work". In any event, I can’t imagine anyone being more free of stress than I.
So, the major reasons adults commit suicide – health, legal, financial, loss of loved ones, loneliness or depression… none of those issues are relevant to me and, for the most part of my life, have never been.
I decided I wanted to have one of the most organized good-byes in recorded history and I think I will be successful. The key has always been to do it before it becomes impossible to accomplish what I’m doing now – because then it’s too late and I would simply be along for the ride to the inevitable cliff. And, that has always been an unacceptable conclusion to my life. I became convinced that had I waited even another few years, I would never have been able to produce this site.
So, I created MartinManleyLifeAndDeath.com which is prepaid for five years, as is SportsInReview.com. Whether it gets extended beyond that is up to others. Five years is as long as Yahoo would let me pay in advance.
Naturally, I've wondered what people will think about this. Some might consider it gutsy, courageous and preemptive, but I know from my research that most find suicide so reprehensible they will see it as an act of betrayal and cowardice - not to mention premature. It’s common to refer to someone battling cancer as “courageous” as opposed to simply following an instinct to stay alive. If trying to stay alive is showing “courage” then the only word for not trying to stay alive would be “cowardice”, right?
But, I decided I didn’t have the luxury of caring what anyone else thought – which is more or less my recipe in life anyway. Simply put, nobody can control what anyone else thinks and therefore, I decided I was not going to worry about it. Besides, being dead, why would I care? Nevertheless, I strongly believed that if a person seriously wanted to understand who I was and why I did what I did, they will read this site thoroughly… and if they do, they may very well either change their assumptions and opinions or at the minimum, modify them.
Even if I had lived to be a hundred, I would never have been able to say how much I appreciated my friends or family. Had it not been for them, I doubt I would have lived as long as I did. I was even fortunate to have a good relationship with both of my ex-wives. I was thankful for each of these people and for putting up with me despite being too blunt, too obnoxious or too arrogant... too often.
Trust me. I was content up to the last minute. The only thing I was sorry for is that by dying, I may have reminded you of your own mortality – and that seems to be a big problem for everyone else. Sorry. I also realized that some will say I cheated them out of the opportunity to say good-bye to me, but trust me... I knew what you thought and I knew it up to the last minute. You didn't need to say it.
“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” ― Mitch Albom
Thanks to all of you – Kent, Jeff, Barby, Mark, Chris, Marissa, Charles, Rick, Tom, Todd, Peter, Mike, Donna, Doug, Scott, Teri, Carol, Kipp, Brian, Craig, Jaime, Lloyd, Steve, Jody, Chris, Bob, Jim, and Joe among others.
I practically lived on the internet over the last 15 years and I made a lot of friends. I probably operated better in that environment than in the "real" world. So, I want to thank all my internet friends for reading my stuff and giving me your honest opinions - and with trusting me with your real names. It's been my honor! Michael, Bob, Glen, Randy, Sam, Dave, Ming, Victor, Cliff, Wade, Bob, Steve, Harry, Aaron, Andy, Burt, Ben, Josh, Dan, David, Mike, Hank, Evan, Eric, Frank, Jonathan, Nick, Phil, Isaac, Ken, Chris, Dan, Kipp, Stan, Mike, Ryan, Neil, Jim, Phil, Steve, Richard, Roger, Ray, Brad, Zach, Michael, Ryan, Andy, Jack, Brent, Tim, John, Jason, Ken, Jeremy, Matt, Clint, Mark, Jimmy, Alan, Erik, Tanner, Lee, Dan, Christopher, Matthew, Vic.
I know I missed some people. Sorry. Whether finance or sports, nearly every internet friend of mine was male - although in a couple cases, the female had a male handle so she could get respect. Too bad that's the way it is, but... So, for two of you, I hope you recognize your "male" name.
You made life a lot easier and if there is anything I might do for you in the afterlife, I will.
“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?” ― Jodi Picoult
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