Remembering Larry Gross

Longtime staffer and columnist Larry Gross passed away June 15, 2015. He was 61.

Larry Gross
Larry Gross

CityBeat is sad to announce the passing of longtime staffer and columnist Larry Gross, a great friend, an innovative and thoughtful author and a longtime supporter of independent media. He was 61. 


To honor his memory, we're re-publishing his November 2014 column, "Should I Die Tomorrow," in which Larry reflects: "I have a feeling if my life really does pass before my eyes, I’m gonna die knowing I had a pretty good one. For that, I’m feeling thankful and blessed."

His family asks that in lieu of flowers or donations to consider supporting a locally owned business, alternative newspaper or artist whose work speaks to you.


"Should I Die Tomorrow"
By Larry Gross

Just so you know, I’m writing this in mid-afternoon in late October. I know this column will run in CityBeat in early November and will be my last one before Thanksgiving. I’m assuming I’m going to live long enough to get these words to my editor. Of course, you know what happens when you assume. 

Actually, I seldom assume anything. There’s no guarantee I will live to see another day. Death isn’t something I think about all that much, but when I do, it doesn’t scare me like it did when I was a kid. Hell, I’m 60 years old now and feel lucky to have lived this long. I think the older you get, the more you put things in proper prospective, and today, in late October, I’m thinking about my life and also the people I love who have been in it. 

Should I die tomorrow, I know my daughter is going to be just fine. She has a management job at Kroger — started out as a bagger there when she was a teenager. I like to think she gets her strong work ethic from me. If that’s not the case, just let me think it anyway. She got married in September of 2013 to a great guy who also works for Kroger. I guess I’m not supposed to like my son-in-law, you know, taking my little girl away from me and all that, but I do like him and know he loves my daughter and will protect her when I’m gone. 

Should I die tomorrow, I know my son is going to be OK, too. He just got engaged to a wonderful girl, owns his own home and has a great job at General Electric. When he was a little boy, it concerned me that, for whatever reason, I didn’t feel close enough to him. That changed after he came to live with me a few years after my wife and I divorced in 1994. The trials and tribulations and the give and take between us during his teenage years brought us closer together. I look back on those days and cherish them. He knows this, as I’ve told him many times. 

Should I die tomorrow, I’ll be grateful to my ex-wife who I have remained friends with since our divorce in 1994. I still see her about once a month. I think we get along better as friends instead of husband and wife. We’ve always got plenty to talk about — especially when it comes to our two wonderful kids. 

Should I die tomorrow, I’ll be thankful to my parents who did the best they could for their children. They made mistakes — hell, all parents do — and some of those mistakes affected me later in life. I’ve worked through the issues. You know, you do what you have to do to make life work. 

Should I die tomorrow, and this is something I never thought I would say, I’ll be glad my mother pushed my brothers and I into being country music entertainers when we were little. We never became “stars,” but we met a lot of real stars that most kids would never get a chance to meet. I mean, how many kids can say Loretta Lynn kissed them? Because of my mother, I can. 

Should I die tomorrow, I’ll be thinking of my twin brother who has passed before me and my younger brother, who is still alive. Some brothers drift apart in adult life, but not us “Gross kids.” Despite our sometimes differences, we always stayed close. 

Should I die tomorrow, I’ll look back on those 30-plus years of being an accountant with gratitude. I’m glad I had the mindset for that kind of work. Sometimes it was interesting, but seldom, if ever, exciting. Having said that, it paid the bills, bought the houses, purchased the cars and put my kids through school. I can’t ask for anything more than that. 

Should I die tomorrow, I’ll be thankful for October 17, 1997. That’s the day I got fired from an accounting job and decided to start pursuing my life-long dream of wanting to be a writer. It took plenty of practice and a lot of rejection, but now, over 17 years later, I think I can say I’m a writer without feeling strange saying it. I think I made it. My audience may be relatively small, but I’ve gotten the kind of readers I wanted to get and I’m grateful for the people who have read me throughout the years. I try to never take any of them for granted. 

Should I die tomorrow, I’ll be anxious to see if my life really will pass before my eyes. I’m kind of hoping it does. I have great memories of grandparents, aunts, uncles and old friends. I want to relive those memories before I take my last breath. 

I have a feeling if my life really does pass before my eyes, I’m gonna die knowing I had a pretty good one. For that, I’m feeling thankful and blessed. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Read thoughts from Larry's son on Larry's blog here.

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