At what age do you wish for death to come?
Being 96 is wonderful until you’ve felt the pain of losing all your friends and most of your family to disease and accidents and old age itself. You become a recluse in a digital world you can’t and won’t understand. You’re unable to plan life events beyond a few days or weeks assuming death is around the corner. Some days you find your razor in your wife’s drawer amongst her lady things that still smell of her perfume. You close your eyes and inhale that beautiful smell and you are there with her. You are reminded of how great life WAS and then you’re back, only to close the drawer to continue the hunt for that elusive razor you misplaced.
You’re rarely visited by the remaining members of your family and if they do come, you quickly realize they are present only to lessen their personal guilt. Half way through dinner you excuse yourself from the table and shamefully apologize as you gather yourself quickly and rush to change your newly soiled diapers. Returning to the table, dignity is a faint memory.
You’ve become a chore. A chore to those that look after you. A chore to those that care about you. A chore to your own dreams and wishes that have deteriorated and deserted you along with your health. You endure constant chronic pain that only 96 years of hard work and aging can produce.
You’ve lived an upstanding life with morals and values that seem to have been diminished greatly in today’s society. You’ve achieved so much, and loved so many unselfishly, and yet here you are at 96 with all these beautiful memories to share, and no one to hear them.
No one will ever again hold you with purpose or need, or understand your life, know what makes you laugh, not a best friends assurance nor your wife’s calming compassionate wisdom is left to guide you. You’re never to hear the words, I love you spoken so tenderly so honestly, that it gives you butterflies. You’ve long forgotten what butterflies are.
And so you wait, alone, to die.
This begs the question of whether it’s better to end your life on your own terms while still in control of yourself. Or, live longer and let your body control you instead.
In My Younger Days compliments this so well.