Covering bases before final runI’m often asked by readers where I get the idea for the many different topics in this Aging column.
I’m often asked by readers where I get the idea for the many different topics in this Aging column.
That is a tough question.
There is no single source; ideas just surface from some recent events.
Today’s topic surfaced too often of late for me. As one of the aging, I’ve attended many memorial services of a former friend or relative that has taken their final breath.
Death is my topic today.
As we get older and attend these memorial services, the thought has to cross one’s mind: “How about me?” We know our day is coming. Have we made the important arrangements: power of attorney, estate executor, power of attorney for health care and other arrangements that may be necessary? If you haven’t, your legal adviser will help handle these matters and others that meet your desire, and satisfy the letter of the law.
But, that is really only a small part of the concern we have for that fateful, final finale.
Have we covered all the bases? Have we left some bases uncovered? Have we left some things unsaid to the most important people in our lives?
It can never be too soon to accomplish those. It is not only our death that is the end. Too many times, after a friend or relative dies, my thought process chides me for having left something important unsaid. It’s something that I don’t think should be done by texting, emailing or in a letter unless you have no opportunity for a face-to-face declaration.
Let’s hear what some people a lot smarter than me have had to say about death:
Mark Twain said, “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
Langston Hughes said it in verse,
“Life is for the living
Death is for the dead
Let life be like music
And death a note unsaid.
George Bernard Shaw said: “Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.”
I looked high and low for a serious quotation to end this most serious subject and finally found this one to suit me:
“I am going to concentrate on what’s important in life. I’m going to strive every day to be a kind, generous and living person. I’m going to keep death right here so that any time I even think about getting angry with you or anybody else, I’ll see death and I’ll remember. That was by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider in Northern Exposures Lost and Found, 1992.
How do I view death? Like most everyone I know, I dread losing loved ones and friends to death. But, now I have a different perspective; death may help delay the eventual end of our earthly civilizations. Maybe during that delay, future civilizations will find a way to lessen our continually expanding birth rates and thus save the complete depletion of earth’s natural resources.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at email@example.com.