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As We Get Older...

Essay By: Bill Rayburn
Memoir


The longer we live, the more death is on our mind. (approx. 300 words)


Submitted:Apr 4, 2012    Reads: 30    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   


As We Get Older.......

The irony is that as we grow older, we think about and contemplate our own mortality, entertaining the idea of dying, knowing with each year we probably get closer to the finish line, and further away from the starting gate ("starting gate" works as a metaphor for the womb, doesn't it?) As Robin Williams once said about men; when born, we are screaming and will do anything to get out, but then we spend the rest of our lives trying to get right back in.

And at the same time, as you grow older, you experience death all around you. Talk about a vicious cycle from which there is no escape. Reflecting more and more on your own mortality, while the number of funerals you attend rises exponentially. One feeds the other. Now, I probably contemplate my navel more than the average bear, and I know there has been a dramatic increase in both my attendance at funerals, and my own focus on dying in the past 5 or 6 years of my life

These are two related phenomena. And I don't see how to avoid them. I can't close my eyes to it all. Denial is WORSE than death in my book. Is this inevitable, this focus on death? Of course, you could be one of the rare lucky souls who have all your significant others alive and in your life. I tip my hat. My journey has been down a different road.

When someone in their 80s or 90s dies, there is no wincing or pain in my reaction. Just an appreciation for the fact they got to live a long life. It's the ones that go "before their time", that push us face to face with the inevitability of our own death.

Life is the ultimate metamorphosis.

It becomes death.





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