Statu Via to Status Finales -Ars Morendi

Okay, gentle readers, you folks may collectively ask Gumshoe, “What’s with all of these cryptic phrases in this title?  Secondly, do we need the use of the Rosetta Stone to decipher your chosen Sanskrit?”

Gumshoe replies in plain English slang:  “Nope”.

These archaic phrases can be interpreted by Gumshoe’s personal translation to mean: One’s unqualified readiness (willingness) to change in order to achieve one’s desired ends — the art of dying well.

There you have it, all kit and caboodle.  Gumshoe is not being morbid, just knowing that reality is truth. No one gets off this rotating orb alive.  Period, no mas, wait until you hear the fat lady sings, turn out the lights, the party is over, RIP.

Gumshoe contemplates during his lucid moments, the numerous past death scenes in which 911 invited him.  Blaaah!

Gumshoe had no choice but to say “I’ll pass” or “I just had my code 7” (meal break).  Front and center, do your prescribed duty officer. Ugh!

Gumshoe would see these once animated souls now “in situ” like marionettes with their life strings cut.

Gumshoe would quietly ponder as he robotically processed the death scene of these used-to-be breathing beings, “Were they ready?”

Were they prepared? Did they live the life they wanted? Did they achieve their goals?  Did they die well? Did their death come as a surprise, an ambush, or was it welcomed?  Were things left unsaid, unforgiven?

Yes and no with a possible maybe? There are no “do-overs”.  Lots of them just had “Poker faces” devoid of any clues to be understood by Gumshoe. More times than not, death was uninvited through many means: unavoidable accident, medical malpractice, overdose, disease.  Yesterday news.

Of course in Gumshoe’s experience, it was a police matter springing from the result of a criminal act or sadly, a self-murder (suicide, what a waste.)

Gumshoe learned throughout his years on the street or driving a detective desk that evil exists. Evil is a disease that is self-afflicted.  Willing participants don’t seek a cure. They do the Devil’s work.  God help the clueless and protect the helpless.

Gumshoe thinks that some of these poor souls arrive at their personal epiphany and discover that all is vanity.  Truth is reality don’t cha know?

Occasionally, death arrived when one’s life meter is struck well into the eighth or ninth decade.  Beyond their expected expiration date perhaps? No drama, just natural.  Old age my friends.  Time and tide wait for no one.

The blessing to be at home in your own bed or at a hospice surrounded by loved ones; making your peace with God; saying the “I love you’s, the forgive me’s” with clear thoughts with a contrite heart.

To go softly into that gentle good night without regret or fear is definitely the art of dying well in Gumshoe’s opinion.

For those of us who still take nourishment and move under our own power let us be quick to change our short lives, to make the needed amends and to be prepared . . . mazel tov!

Remember to love the ones who love you and to really try to love the ones who don’t.

Coram Deo!

PS:  A joyous Easter to all; He has risen!  Alleluia!


Danny Pitocco
Danny Pitocco
RETIRED (as a Detective with the Snohomish County Sherriff’s Department, Washington State), Danny has over forty years of law enforcement experience across city, county, state and federal levels of government, including service as a Special Agent for the DEA, US Department of Justice. He’s a decorated law enforcement veteran, and recipient of the "Detective of the Year" award for Snohomish County, Danny is a certified composite artist and has testified as an expert witness in the field of narcotics and modus operandi of particular crimes in state and federal courts in California, and has given testimony before federal grand juries. Danny served four years of active duty in the US Marine Corps and loves Jesus as his personal savior.

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  1. Hey Gumshoe. Funny that you should write this article now. I had this conversation in a group setting a few weeks ago. Having been in Law Enforcement for 25 years and having investigated my fair share of homicides and fatal traffic accidents I often wondered exactly what the victims may have thought just before that moment came. I know this may sound a little morbid.
    I often thought if only they could have only told us about that moment. I know the old saying “Death and Taxes”! I have my own scenario(Pure fantasy I might add) for when my time comes.
    It’s the Easter season so without getting all religious I still believe that Christ died so that we could have eternal life.
    Happy Easter to you and your family my friend. Stay safe.
    Semper Fi

    • Thanks my brother in blue for your comment. You are correct indeed Tom. Christ did die for our sins and made our salvation possible. I am positive that former U S Marines and retired police officers are part of His security detail and are all “on call” for special ops for our counterparts still on planet earth. A joyous Easter to you and yours Tom. He has risen! Indeed He has! Alleluia!

  2. I am always looking to the Heavens, not afraid to be called home, the eternal home. The narratives of Jesus passion and death are some of the most sacred of Scripture for us all. Jesus tells us, be not afraid, and be ready always. This life is temporary but the next life promised by Jesus is eternal. Like previous comments ” I love life, I love the opportunity Jesus has given me to be here year after year, He has walked me through sickness, and is there with me in sorrow over personal things in my life, yet, I look forward to the day I will be with Him in Heaven. Entertaining article, food for thought and heartfelt words to ponder Gumshoe!

    • Always good to focus on the things above and not below Nightingale. Our citizenship is in the Kingdom since we are all Ambassadors for our true King here on earth.

  3. Words well spoken Gumshoe!
    God tells me that He has prepared a place for me that no eye has ever seen nor ear ever heard of and one beautiful beyond my wildest imagination!
    I love this life and I enjoy abundant blessings….family, friends, health, a wonderful career and now the pleasure of retirement……but given what God has in store, I must admit, I may not be looking to hasten the day of my departure, but — knowing that He is a good God and that He loves me (me?!!) I must admit — there’s a big part of me that can hardly wait to see what’s next!!!
    Among the blessings of this life, I enjoy most two things: the awesome opportunity I have to spend more time with Sharron, the love of my life, AND I get to spend time getting to know God…. amazed that the creator of the universe allows me to do that……me?! Wow!
    There’s a few things critical (I believe) for all of us to know —
    The few years we have on this earth is like a grain of sand on a seashore compared to eternity.
    God has placed eternity in our hearts; that means even the avowed atheist knows, deep down, that something lies beyond.
    We get to choose where we will spend that eternity (there is a Heaven and there is a Hell).
    God’s desire is that no one will choose the later, that we will chose Him….more than that, with all the ‘clutter’ in the world…differing beliefs and such….His promise is that if we are serious in seeking Him, we will find Him.
    Lastly, we must do that seeking now, while there’s still breath in our lungs.
    None of this is my opinion – it’s all based on what He’s told me (you guessed it, the Bible).
    What better time than Easter week to commit your life to the Son who He sent to die on your behalf, and the One who (unlike any other) rose again!

    • Well spoken my true brother in Christ. We are only a vapor in this life but eternal in the next. When I worked as a correctional counselor in the prison, I learned that the inmates used the word Bible as an acronym; Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Amen!

  4. You are positively, absolutely correct my friend Ken. We all ultimately take that dirt nap. Death is an equal opportunity employer on a level playing field called a cemetery. Doing our best on this life’s plateau just might prepare us for greater heights in “thy kingdom come”. Thanks for your comment.

  5. True, we will each and every one pass on to the next life. There is no option. Actually, dying isn’t all that hard. It takes no skill, no educational degree, no help. Anyone can do it, and everyone will. The best we can hope for is to be ready and face the transition with the comfort of knowing we did our best and that there is forgiveness for those time where we failed.