When I was young and under the influence of movies and books about fighting, war and dying somehow I adopted views that death and dying is something unavoidable and it is mostly noble and clean, and have some kind of cause and reason.
Soon I realized that truth is quite different, and mostly there is nothing clean about it.
People like to think that death in combat is something like they see on movies because it makes sense, it gives you some kind of comfort. I have seen death and dying many times, both in combat and in bed at peoples home when working in emergency services, and I can count on one hand when it looked clean and “noble”.
Buddy next to you who get few bullets in stomach will usually scream a lot, smell a lot, and you gonna catch yourself thinking „is he already dead? I can not stand this…“ and in the same time theres gonna be one more thought, prevailing, it is „thanks God it is him, not me, lying, screaming and dying…“ and later you might feel guilty for thinking this way…
Dying people will call their moms, sons, wives… will hold to you with their hands like death is trying to drag them, like you can save them, sometimes they will stare „through“ you, like they already see something that is not from this world…
Sometimes you gonna see something like blame in their eyes, this time they are aware that they are dying, and they want to switch places with you. Why can this guy stay and I have to go now? How unfair and cruel is this. This can not be real.
When SHTF be prepared that people will die around you, and it probably will look very different from picture that you have in your mind now. And also be prepared that looking at those deaths will change you on many levels, will affect you. I have seen people that were changed in bad ways, also I have seen people changed in good ways.
But it will change you.
As I said, I have seen many deaths, and most of those deaths were violent, I speak about this in my course. All that makes me more cynical, but every time when I caught myself being too cynical I remember my motto that „generalizing things is not good“ so I remember the man, my good friend who died some 5 years ago.
He died in hospital, throat cancer. It was bad, and it was very painful. And what was worse it was very slow. He was „melting“ in front of my eyes, for weeks, at the end all what was left were skin, bones and his eyes.
I remembered those eyes from the days of war and chaos, he was strong man, a lion, people had a picture of him that he is powerful and ruthless. He was inspiration for many to fight on. And they were right. He was dangerous and fearless. But what they did not know was fact that he hide and save whole bunch of people from different enemy „group“. He did not do that for money, gold or anything else.
He saved them from death and private prisons, and get them to the safety. In that time he could easily lost his life for doing that. Only condition was that those people keep their mouth shut about who helped them. And they did mostly. After everything rumors were there, but nobody believed them.
Anyway times changed, he lost his power after the war, and later his health too. Times came when he could use fact that he save those folks, in order to gain money or power or similar.
But he did not do that, I know him before war, during the war, and after the war, I helped him once in smuggling few those guys to safety.
He did not use that. He was very poor when they found his cancer, he died as a poor man. Only few people were with him when he died, including me.
And I think it is one of the rare occasions when I saw that some man is very aware that he is dying, and still he is very calm, very peaceful. He always believed in God, in Jesus Christ, so it gave him peace I guess, but I like to think that being good man gave him peace. He save those folks because he was man like that, good man. He also knew what to expect from death. We, survivors of this time, have seen it too often to live under any illusion.
As I said, my faith in people is not strong at all, but whenever I lost it too much I remember him and thought that come to my mind is that even in hardest times you can find good people, even in strangest places. It does not mean to trust people, you should not. But in big crowd of naive sheep there are few exceptions. Look closely how people deal with stressful situation around you. Look who believes in what Hollywood tells them is reality and avoid these people.
Reality of death and dying will change them and it is hard to guess to what. Reality and our idea of life and death is often very different and this can result in shock when you look at ugly side of death. Shock paralyzes and scars souls.
I know this message is lost on many people who like to flip open weapon magazine and shop for new toys instead of learning about ugly side of life. Getting comfortable with death and how ugly, smelly, dirty and not noble it is, is essential for survivalist to still make right decisions and actions when it matters.
What are your thoughts on death and dying? Any personal experiences that helped you to become peaceful with it? Please share in comments or on forum.
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We all usually keep forgetting that when SHTF things will be different in many ways.
We talk about lack of food, clean water, coffee, or simply lack of hygiene. And we say that people gonna die because of that and because of lots of violence. Based on my experience, all above is correct, but we also usually forget one simple fact: pressure!
Guy from my street worked before SHTF as a computer technician. Those years here were time when computers were started to be widely used in big companies. He was something like famous in that field, so he had good life, nice home, car, family and everything else.
When SHTF he just like great number of other folks was simply lost. While chaos was spreading through the city he stayed home watching through the window how people sporadically run across the street to avoid sniper fire and shelling.
He monitored how telephone lines went out, electricity and water too. Later he was trying to „catch“ some news over his radio that he used before for football (soccer) games broadcasts. His son later told us that they ate a lot of some old jam because they had eaten everything else.
And then one day he simply was forced to go out, they delayed that moment as much as they could, but when you watch your kid and wife go hungry it is very hard to just do nothing. You see those who are close to you slowly get worse and worse.
They found him some 300 meters from his house, some guys told him that they worked for government, and they are trying to restore peace.
They told him to show them his home and then shot him. When they came into his house first guy knock out the kid with rifle butt. Then they looked for gold. Then they played with wife. Anyway they kill her too, kid survived. I spoke with kid and we did not talk too much about details, it is rare people want to speak about any details from this time. Too much bad memories.
His story was not the only story like that in that time. Now you may think that they died because he was stupid, he was not prepared, he did not have weapon etc. All of that is correct actually.
But I like to think that they died because he made decisions under pressure, huge pressure. And it was wrong decision.
He waited for too long to choose correct moment to go out and find useful stuff like food, weapon or simply to connect with other folks.
And then one day situation caught him, and he was forced to make decision, to act under the pressure. As I said he was not only man who died that way, lots of other folks died in similar way.
Point is that we preppers and survivalist often forget that in survival situation we also have to make decisions under pressure. You might be great shooter, but are you ready to see loved ones suffering and making life or death decisions? It is harder than most people think.
Lesson here is to not be arrogant because you are a survivalist or prepper. Because you are that you escape first and you are not the bravest person who impresses whole neighborhood by getting shot first. You are also not overly careful and hide out until you run out of preps and have no choice but to go out.
We can be prepared.
What gives your mental side advantage is this:
- You understand how the world has changed and that you have to forget about old rules. I speak in detail about this in my course and here on blog.
- You keep don’t let emotions decide what you do. You plan and dont put yourself in situation with only one way out.
- You expect the worst, forget about Hollywood action movie heroes and use all skills you practiced today and know already.
I have seen other folks doing mistakes under pressure. I have seen man who got shot during a trade, because he wanted to get stuff from the other guy so hard, food again. His family at home was waiting for that badly, and he simply forgot common sense. This is what makes desperate people weak (and often dangerous too, because their actions are controlled by their chaotic emotions).
Guys realized he was desperate, get him to follow them, ambush and shoot him, take his stuff. They didnt finish him. He survived, point is that he was under the pressure to get the job done as soon as he can, so he simply forget common sense. Don’t be that guy.
Im faced with critical decisions every day working in emergency services. If you have more questions or want to share how you deal with high pressure situations, write in forum or comments below.
I know man who is cop and he is not officially prepper, but couple of times I talked with him and „spotted“ his philosophy. Because nature of his job he knows whats going on in town, where he can probably find drugs, weapons, prostitutes, everything.
He mentioned to me couple of times that if something bad happens, something like war, he would get together with some 15 of his buddies and take over pretty big part of the town while everything else is collapsing around us.
Of course he would not do that in order to help people, his plan is to gain power, in order to gain more power, and so on. He did not mention it, but what he wants is be gangleader after collapse and he is simply ordinary cop today.
But he has plans, skills, resources and wrong (or right) mindset for achieving this.
I do not judge him, I just observe. I learned long time ago that it makes sense to know all kinds of people, especially when SHTF. People often say that cops are actually particular type of folks, and that their morale is highly questionable. Some people say cops are people drawn to power.
Just like with everything else I do not like to generalize things. So I like to say that just like all other folks there are good cops and bad cops.
It may be truth that occupation like that may draw (attract) certain types of people but nothing more than that. And of course (especially here) cops are highly subjectible to bribes, because nature of job. Just like medical professionals are as well. If you want to get your urgent operation done you either wait for 4 weeks or pay the right people that it happens in coming days…
I had friend who was cop. Actually he was police inspector (detective) when SHTF in first few weeks he simply used his badge and authority in chaos and „confiscate“ gold from people in the name of „cause“. The cause back then was to support our fight against the enemy troops who have surrounded our city. But the cause can be anything of course.
At first it was story about how it is not secure to have gold inside home because bad security state in town, so it will be kept in safe in town hall. Sounds stupid maybe, but people (especially honest and decent) will believe in lot of things if you back up your words with some authority like badge and uniform and some weapon. He even gave them some kind of written certificate (recipe) for gold that he took.
Few days later when it was obvious that there is no safe in town hall, and no government order, he simply took it with force and using weapons.
Of course he was not the only one who did that in that time, but he used his badge and training to do that, actually normal folks trusted him, because they thought something like „oh, he is policeman, he must be right, and he must be good man, let’s do what he says.“
Of course gold got through black market channels out of the country, he is out of the country too for years already. And yes, he is rich. Some other cops become famous as the worst war criminals, they turned to monsters, and did everything to harm people.
I knew some other folks from the police department, some of them simply used weapons and skills to do bad things, other did good things, they helped folks, organized them and learn them how to defend.
What they all had in common is that they used their training, authority signs and weapons when SHTF.
Some in good ways, some in bad. I do not think that being cop made them good or bad, it only made them skilled in controlling people.
Just like folks in my case 20 years ago before SHTF believed mostly that cops must be good guys because they are cops, I am noticing opinion that today cops must be BAD guys just because they are cops. Again I like to think that they are usually skilled guys, very usable in SHTF events. But I do not (just like everything else) take them like only bad or only good guys just because they are cops. Keep in mind that flexibility of thinking gives you big advantage in every survival scenario.
Simply forget old stereotypes once SHTF. Stress and fight for survival will bring out best and worst in people and make them drop whatever mask they were hiding behind in normal times. I try to separate what people can do and how people are and then can form an opinion. This is very valuable when time goes on and you and your group have contact to others.
How do you decide on qualities of people today and for your survival group once things get rough? Write in comments below or simply discuss with us in forum.