I am the happiest man in the world

September 28 - mountain

Those were the final words of 71-year-old multimillionaire Clifton Maloney, spoken shortly after successfully summiting the 26,000 ft-plus peak of Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest peak. Maloney, the husband of U.S Representative Carolyn Maloney, went to sleep after making the comment and never woke up again.

What a way to go! If I could orchestrate my own passing, I'd do it the way Maloney did: accomplish something truly magnificent, share my post-event adrenaline high and then leave my friends and companions with some memorable words.

I'd hate to die behind a desk. Or, after being struck by a car or, god forbid, on the NJ Transit 7:28 to the city.

Not this blogger. I'd like to go right after 'killing' a stand-up comedy performance. Or, completing a grueling 18-mile run. Or, like Maloney, summiting a brutally-challenging peak.

We're not given the option of picking the time or place of our departure. But I'd like to think that, wherever he is at the moment, Clifton Maloney has to be pretty pleased with his manner of passing. He went out at the happiest moment of his 71 years on earth. To me, that's living.

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