Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Thing Is

I've been spending the week with my Mom at her retirement housing thingy. Most of the folks here are active and healthy and busy.

And even so, being here makes me want to kill myself before I end up like these folks.


  1. I don't know why those places are so depressing, but they always are.

    We spent the past few months bouncing my grandfather around from place to place (moving from retirement housing to 24-hr care facilities and eventually to a hospice) and every place was more depressing than the last.

    Wooo, aging!

  2. Anonymous12:17 PM

    My mom recently died after a devastating diagnosis and a terribly sudden decline. As awful as it was, I think she did well in that she never lived anywhere but her own home until the last month of her life. My uncle is in one of these and it's just so depressing.

  3. But, Bardiac: what's the alternative? Last year I blogged about a really interesting comment by Gerda Lerner (age 91) about aging. She wrote, "In old age we cannot take for granted that we will be able to enjoy the luxury of making good choices; we often have to choose the lesser of two evils. Our body, which we have always trusted as a reliable, familiar friend, now confronts us with its weaknesses and limitations. We have to develop a new relationship with it, adapting to its slow decline in capacity and strength. Pain and physical impairments become our steady companions. We have to get used to them, respect them and adjust to them, as best we can. Without pain and impairments nobody would ever be ready to die."

    I thought that was a fascinating insight. What we younger, healthy people may perceive as depressing limitations might be seen as freeing by the elderly, because they are in an environment in which they will be looked after quickly if they should fall, take sick, etc. That gives them a measure of freedom they didn't have when living alone, fearing that they'd be found dead days later by the EMT's.

    Me, I'm ready to live to 100+, so long as it's mostly pain-free. I love life so much--and I have no belief whatsoever in an afterlife, so why not make the most of whatever ride we have?

  4. I think the alternative is suicide. And while I'm quite willing to make the most of my life for now, I hope I can kill myself before I have alzheimers or something.