What will they say of me when I die? What will they write of me when I’m dead?
Reports say, as they do with all Elderly and Terminally Ill people, that he died “Peacefully In His Sleep”, which I suppose is a bit more comforting to other people than “He died gasping for breath, flailing in horrible pain as his various bodily systems shut down.”
Will I make it to elderly? Will you?
I was always petrified of aging. I could cope with death, it never held any fear. Cessation is obvious, it contains nothing to logically be feared, and afterwards, well, then we’ll see. …but slow, living decay on the other hand. My fears where not aided by my experience of old people. The smell of old people; their breath, their hair, skin and nails. Growing increasingly aware that to age meant to lose one’s faculties. The encroaching inability to hear, see, smell or taste… This filled me with horror. That the growth and developement period of ones life could reach an end and then the begining of a downward sprial as we slowly and painfully slip off the mortal coil was I guess my biggest teenage fear. Aside obviously from Nuclear War and the possibility that the State’s secret police would once more come to bang down the doors.
I just tried to check my spelling of cessation and instead was directed to “caseation” which I suppose puts a pretty good case forward for being repulsed by death too! Go look it up if you don’t believe me.
It is ironic I suppose that my role-models all seem to manifest themselves as ageless or increasingly active and alive with age.
I never thought I would live long enough to complain of growing old. I remember telling someone when I was pissed that I didn’t want to wake up one day and realise that I was too old to die young. I am still genuinely suprised to have made it into adulthood. I am starting to consider that maybe I will grow old after all. I think by so expecting my own death I was spared the consideration of my aging. Now that I am forced to consider it anew, it doesn’t seem half so frightening.
In the same way that children grow up faster and faster, old people grow old slower and slower.
In the playgrounds you’ll hear them, picturing empty cold hospital corridors, asking who wants to live to be 100.
…and giggling, like school children themselves, you’ll hear the new old folk tell you the answer, any 99 year old.