Now that my “Love of my Life” series is completed, I want to end this week’s posts on a related topic.
Almost everyone knows the old saying
Everyone wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die to get here
I read that to say that we are afraid we won’t stack up to the qualifications to pass the pearly gates. Or maybe, it just means we are afraid to die. Take your pick.
My father and my wife were two of the ones who greatly feared death. Neither one wanted to talk about it, and would most likely leave the room when the topic came up.
I, personally, have another take on this subject
I can’t imagine living for an eternity! In fact, I kinda think I have just about lived enough years now. If my family genes rule the day, I have at best a handful of years left. That thought is soothing to me in a bizarre sort of way.
Now that I am living with so many people who are significantly older than I am, I can imagine what my remaining time on earth might look like. Truthfully, I hope they are short and merciful. I live in a “continuous care retirement community”, CCRC for short. That means when the time comes I will automatically move from my independent living one-bedroom apartment, to the assisted living wing studio that I see thirty feet away when I open my bedroom curtains each morning.
By living here, I am constantly surrounded by walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters. On a side note, I know that you never see them in any of the website photo galleries for retirement communities. All you see are always smiling older people enjoying a luxurious dinner meal on cloth covered table tops. There is not a walking aid in sight.
Getting back on subject, being constantly around this flood of mobility devices makes me more aware of the frailty of human life, and how it can sometimes unmercifully go on until we are totally incapacitated. That feeling struck me head on during the first few months here, but has subsided somewhat since then. When the unusual becomes the usual, it’s easy to just ignore the underlying thoughts.
I often wonder why I am here in my retirement community at all. I really don’t want someone to try to keep me alive beyond where no meaningful quality of life is possible. So, why am I paying over $40k a year to make that happen? The feeling has crossed my mind that maybe I should just get an apartment by myself for less than half the cost? Then, when my time comes, there will be no one there trying to extend my life. These are deep thoughts that I can’t ignore. But, I would not take that path until I am sure it is the one I really want.
Or maybe I will turn into one of those who are afraid to die and hang on to the absolute end? Who knows…