Wow, Thanks, Sorry, Please

Wow, Thanks, Sorry, Please
Michael Gollin
November 2017

Wow. I have had a wonderful life, especially these recent years. I am not afraid of dying. My enormous daily and nightly struggles will end. I will die a peaceful death of complications from ALS surrounded by my family.

Thanks. To my nurses and aides. Thanks. For all the love I received from family, friends, and colleagues. I love my heroine Jill, my fantastic kids Natasha, Max, and Julia, my revered mom and dad, my great siblings Kathy and Jim, my beautiful in-laws, my talented nephews and nieces, cousins, and friends.

Sorry. For my many transgressions. Please forgive me. I forgive you.

Please. Remember me kindly but honestly when I am gone.

It is okay. Really.

25 thoughts on “Wow, Thanks, Sorry, Please

  1. I sit near you father atthe Dryden when he is there. Sometimes he comes up with a little memory for Rita or June Rogoff. I eavesdrop.

  2. Dear Michael,
    I’m sending you so much love….. If there’s anything to forgive, I forgive you. I’m grateful to you for all the years of friendship and extended family and caring and sharing and fun. Remembering you is a given – kindly and honestly is no difficulty. You are an inspiration, and a dear friend. My love and friendship goes with you, always.
    – Maura

  3. Sending you love, Michael, from southern New Mexico. I have told one story about you to many people over the years (whenever the subject of lightning came up). I ran into you on the BU campus when you were in law school and I was in journalism school, and you offered me a ride to wherever I was going. You told me that you had been sitting in the very tall law school library, and lightning struck it. And you said that all the hair all over your body stood up on end. That electric image has stayed with me. Thank you for all your good and loving work and deeds. I am sorry I was so out of touch these past few years, until recently. Peace, friend. Leora/Lulu

  4. Michael, one of the daily prayers in Jewish liturgy blesses God as the support and stronghold of the righteous, the tzadikim. A friend once told me she thought of cute little old pious guys in shall, studying and passing out candies to the little kids. For many years I have used this prayer to appreciate the role models of integrity that I’ve encountered. You and Jill are on this list. This week won’t change that.
    — Chava

  5. Dear Michael – When AIDS claimed a very close friend, a Hindu text taught me that each life is but a wave on the ocean. I came to believe that how well we struggle with the cards we’re dealt in this life might make it easier, or make us more capable of dealing with the cards we’re dealt in our next incarnation. Probably not “us,” but a child that’s born as we depart (or a naked mole rat in the case of he-that-shall-remain-nameless). More important that that bubumince is how much positive energy we give while here, and the love that flows to others. You have poured forth love and warmth like the sun, and so many of your loved ones, friends, acquaintances and people you probably don’t even know have benefitted. A huge wave of innovation, life and love indeed, and more power to the waves that follow. A full heart of love to you. Rob

  6. Dear Michael,

    We will absolutely remember you, always. Your story will be handed down. We love you too, and will miss you. Thank you for the gifts you have passed on through your work. Thank you for the happy memories we will treasure.

    Love, your silly SIL,

  7. I love you, Michael. You are a good human being and a good friend. I bow to the infinite that lies within and beyond.

  8. Michael —

    It is a blessing, indeed, to know you.

    There is no end because this family will tell, and retell, and retell, all of the stories down the generations — stories of lives knit together from Rochester, to Cape Cod, to New York, to D.C., to Bowie, and beyond. I am quite sure you know how great a teacher you are, how much you taught the word, and how broadly and deeply you are loved.

    Ave atque vale.

    Richard Mark

  9. Dear Michael,
    I send all my love and faith and strength for the next part of your journey. I will always remember you, and your memory will be a blessing to all of us.

  10. Michael, you have lived with passion and courage – taking others along on your journeys both those in time and place and those that will continue to advance the public interest to this final journey which you are traveling with such grace. I am glad our families’ lives have been intertwined over the years (including the summer you spent with our parents to your later efforts to help my dad with his patent and, if parents are to be believed, a moment of dancing naked on a picnic table many years ago). Wishing you peace and the knowledge that your memory will live on in those who love you and those whose lives you have touched,

  11. Michael: since we’ve done a number of panel presentations together, I decided that my comments should be delivered in a PowerPoint presentation, I’ve sent it to your gmail address. Much love, Janna

  12. Dear Michael,

    I was out running by Nobska light this morning (circa mile 1 of the road race) and I thought, as I often do, of discussing with you the proper number of steps to take per inhale and exhale. It was a kind of a silly conversation, but to me it was just one more example of how you approached things you cared about thoughtfully and really worked at them – running was no exception. I feel lucky that I got to run with you, to discuss plate tectonics with you, to have shared that mushroom you found growing in Rita and Dick’s driveway that for some reason no one else was interested in trying…

    Sending all my love to you, and to Jill, Natasha, Max, Julia, et al.,

  13. Thank you, Michael, for all of the joy and goodness you bring to the world. You are a special man and we will remember you with admiration and affection. God bless you.

    Bill Coston

  14. Michael, I am blessed to have known you and to have been your law partner. You taught me how to practice law wih excellence and integrity. You taught me how to live and how to die. You taught me how to laugh and smile in the midst of terrible circumstances. You taught me how to be an incorrigible optimist. You taught me how to see that glass as half full even when it was bone dry. You taught me how to never give up. You are a fighter, a champion and a beacon of light to all who knew you. RIP my friend. We will carry on your traditions and values and will honor your memory.

  15. Michael: I only got to know you in the last five years (or so) and here is what I will always remember: the care you took with your affairs to make sure your family is secure- your willingness to face reality and face it with grace- your creativity-your multi faceted personality and interests. I wish you comfort and peace.

  16. Hi Michael,
    You have always been inspiring and authentic, which seems to be rare these days. I have always cherished our friendship and was glad to stay in touch even if I did move outside the beltway. I know you appreciate the beauty of nature and I think of you when I’m out and know you are there. Hugs & love, Nina

  17. Hi Michael,
    You have always been inspiring and authentic, which seems to be rare these days. I have always cherished our friendship and was glad to stay in touch even if I did move outside the beltway. I know you appreciate the beauty of nature and I think of you when I’m out and know you are there. Hugs & love, Nina

  18. Michael one last fist pump with our non working hand. I will do my best to learn to meditate and think of you. Oh no clear my brain when I meditate. God bless your soul and your Family. See you someday.

  19. Michael & Family,

    You don’t know me – I live in Milwaukee and discovered one of your card project cards in 2015. I didn’t follow the rules, and instead chose to keep it myself. I think I needed it.

    I’ve left it on my desk in my home office, and every few months, when I undertake the ritual of cleaning it, I rediscover it, and thusly rediscover your blog.

    I want to thank you and your family for sharing your story until the end, and using it as a vehicle to not only spread awareness of ALS, but to give inspiration to others.

    Your words and emotions are powerful and have been felt widely. Thank you so much for that.


  20. We love you Michael. You are an inspiration. Most of all, you have been an awesome person to know. Wishing you the peace you deserve. Love, Judy and Ken


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