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.


Michael Gollin
November 2017

There is a complex snag down in the woods,
a dead tree, with seven limbs,
but I can only see it in winter with the leaves down.

Two winters ago,
I thought it was going to fall
before Max’s college graduation.
But it did not.

Last winter,
I thought it was going to fall
before Natasha’s grad school graduation.
But it did not.

I think it will last
until Julia’s college graduation next winter.
It will outlast me.


​Michael Gollin
July 2016

I am lost in a strange land between life and death.

My body rebels. 

My mind resists. 

I know the destination.

It is unavoidable.

The question I confront is how will I get there and when.

Most people don’t even recognize that this land exists.

But some admire me just for being here.

I am a pioneer.

I can’t use my hands or legs and I can’t talk or eat or breathe without a ventilator.

But I will find my way in the end.

New E-dition of My Book

Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Mortality
Now Downloadable from Amazon

Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Mortality is now available as an ebook on Author Michael Gollin  was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2012 and began blogging about his experiences and philosophy, forming the basis of the 262-page book.
Innovation Life Love offers insight into the unusual challenge of knowing one’s ultimate fate of progressive paralysis and deciding to make the most of every day. “In my personal and professional life as patent attorney, author, professor, and non-profit entrepreneur,” Gollin writes, “I’ve tried to be a productive member of all my communities: family, friends, work, home, country, and planet. When I was diagnosed with ALS, I was dragged into a terrifying new situation, but I realized how lucky I’ve been in life, and I quickly resolved to make the best of the situation. It has been surprisingly liberating to explore this uncharted territory.” In it, he confronts death head-on, contemplating dead wildlife and evolution in the Galapagos and feeling echoes of his ancestors in the Lithuanian woods where they were murdered.
Innovation Life Love was adapted from Gollin’s writings—poetry, essays, photographs, and speeches—that have appeared on his blog, Gollin also authored  Driving Innovation: Intellectual Property Strategies for a Dynamic World (2008), available in hardback, paperback, and Kindle versions on With Innovation Life Love, Gollin demonstrates how he has applied creativity and problem-solving skills to the physical, technological and emotional challenges he confronts every day.  

Life and Love
Insights into the meaning of life are thrown into sharp relief by the prospect of one’s own death, according to Gollin, who is compelled by love to pass on what he has learned and experienced in life. He succinctly answers questions about life, setting goals, and making decisions. He invites us to appreciate the beauty of nature by sharing a rafting trip down the New River and a hike the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu. Readers worldwide have been inspired by Gollin’s wisdom, courage, and optimism in the face of devastating physical illness.

Innovation Life Love Availability
Innovation Life Love is available for immediate download for $5 at The print version is available on for $14. Read more about Michael Gollin on, his blog site, and at the Venable LLP website.
For more information, contact:
For more information on Innovation Life Love: website.

Book from Blog

I am extremely pleased to announce the launch of my new book, Innovation Life Love: Reflections on Living with Mortality.
It’s available on Amazon already although we’re still working on the descriptive material.

The book compiles most of the poems, essays, speeches, and other material from this blog, with new material. It is more an eclectic journal of my recent years than a memoir.

For the earlier posts, I was still touch typing. Now I struggle with my left thumb on my phone. But it’s all good. Thanks to endless help, support, and encouragement from my family, especially my sister and my wife, and many others, including readers in more than 85 countries, here is a dream come true.

If you do buy it, don’t forget to write a review on the Amazon page!


Here are some excerpted comments posted on the blog. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

– Michael, you are an amazing writer. This captured, with your typical grace, the battlefront you’re on and what that means. You continue to be an inspiration ….

– Michael – Thanks for the inspiration. When I think I’ve got too many challenges, I remember that an attitude of gratitude, along with acceptance, is the key to positive thinking. Amen.

–  Well said, my dear! I am so glad you soldier on tablet in hand–every campaign needs a good chronicle.

Such a lovely post, it just encapsulates the ups and downs of life.

Wow, Michael. For a guy who types with one finger, you did an amazing job here … Great post!

– So beautiful, Michael, I’ll return to it again and again. Thank you.

– Gorgeous and timely.

– Your grace, strength and dignity are both amazing and inspiring.

– Spoken from the heart, and you have a very big heart, Michael! Your heart is far bigger than the ALS.

– What a fantastic blog!! Thanks for spreading happiness!!

– I read your autobiography and I was amazed by the things you have accomplished and continue accomplishing. How do you find the courage and stamina to keep going? Wow! I will continue checking your blog as I find it very enriching. I wish your life continues full of love and happiness. You are an inspiration!

– Your poetry is beautiful and I wish you the best!

– Your website is beautiful and inspiring. Sending love.

It brought tears to my eyes how you know you are part of nature. How we all are part of nature. Comforting and deeply beautiful. Thank you for your wisdom.

– A world of wonder, and endless inspiration.

– A fine series of metaphors and flowing sounds for the sense of a generous and growing self connected (by e.g. vapor, reflection, heat, spark, intent, sound, mind, attitudes and actions) to a greater other. Not easily conceived or sustained, but the short lines make it all possible! Congratulations!

– Lovely imagery!

– Magnificent Michael. Thanks for the reminder to be still and listen.

– So wondrous. We are all cherry blossoms, seems like. You are among my cherry blossoms, Michael. That, too, is all I need.

– What a lovely poem. Really, just lovely.

– I love this poem and I am very honored, proud and happy to be a part of you.