That probably sounds like a morbid topic. But, the truth is, I’m a morbid man. Always have been. Anyway, my brother recently visited some relatives out of state and took a picture with our Great-Aunt, who is 91 years old. And it just got me thinking. It’s hard to imagine being 91 years old. If I make it that long (fat chance), I wonder what I’ll be like?
Specifically, I wonder, regardless of how you feel physically, you can still do the math, and you know how old you are. So how often do you think about dying? It crosses my mind, probably too often already, so if I’m 91 I’ll probably be thinking about it all day long. Especially when I go to sleep at night. I wonder, every single time I get in bed to go to sleep, will I be thinking “Will I never wake-up?”
I mean, dying peacefully in my sleep IS the way I’d prefer to kick the bucket but, still, that’s got to kind of freak you out when it’s so close to being a distinct possibility, right?
Then there’s also the idea of dying while awake, at an inopportune time. My brother also mentioned our Great-Aunt’s husband, who is 90. He still works, and still drives. On the one hand I think, good for him, but on the other hand, I can’t help but wonder, is that safe? Even if he feels physically capable, and is able to keep passing his test to get his driver’s license renewed (& I wonder if, at a certain age, does the DMV make you apply for renewal more frequently, like once a year, just to make sure you’re still able?), what if you’re driving on a busy street, or on the freeway, and you suddenly have a massive heart attack? You’re not only putting yourself but other people at risk.
I recall that year ago there was an incident in California where an old man ran his car into some kind of market and, I think, killed some people. Apparently, he got confused and thought he was stepping on the brakes instead of the gas pedal. I felt sad for the victims but, frankly, I also felt bad for the old man. I could imagine that happening to me. I’d hate to ever lose my own mobility, and need to depend on others for transportation, so I’d want to avoid it as long as possible. But, when the time comes, will I know? I can be pretty stubborn, but I hope I’ll have the presence of mind at the right time to just to say to myself, okay, that’s it, I should stop driving now, just to be extra safe.
Well, we’ll see, I guess.