Kitty and I have been watching some depressing Oscar-nominated films lately. One was "Away From Her" which was about a husband who has to put his wife in a nursing home because she develops Alzheimer's. She then falls in love with another patient there who may have been a childhood sweetheart. The other movie was "The Savages" which was about a brother and sister dealing with an aging parent who is deteriorating. Both movies have affected Kitty and myself because she has lost both of her parents while I have lost my dad and have a mom in her mid 80's. My mom cared for her mother in her last days. I know firsthand how difficult it is to care for someone who is in the last stages of life. I can't remember what the quote was from one of the movies but it went something like, "Death is filled with blood, vomit, piss, and shit."
The past few birthdays for me have been a little rough because I keep having that dread sneak up on me that I am "over the hill" meaning it's all downhill from here. Let's be honest, I feel like I am past the halfway point. There's still a lot of life to be lived, but another one of my favorite movie quotes which I have posted here before essentially says that the end is closer than the beginning. It doesn't help that I hear of people like Richard Holbrook who just died at 69. To me, 69 is just too young. I'd rather hear of people dying in their 90's. I remember several years ago when I heard about the oldest person in the world dying in France. She was something like 115 and had lived in a nursing home since she was 75. Wait! What?!? This woman had lived in a nursing home for as many years as I had been alive! That just seemed so sad!
The conclusion to all of this is that all of my fears of getting older and reaching that long dark night have been waning as of late. I told Kitty last night that I am losing that fear of death because there is really very little we can do about it, so why worry about it. It's going to happen sooner or later, preferably much later, but obsessing over it or trying to contemplate the sweet hereafter is an exercise in futility. I remember staying up nights when I was about 26 or 27 because I overheard a conversation about what happens when we die and all of the implications of Heaven and Hell (they were pretty hardcore Christians). It drove me nuts thinking about eternity. I finally came around to realizing that it was just a waste of energy to contemplate such things.
So don't expect me to check out any time soon. I want to put that off for as long as possible. I just hope I can come to that place in life where there truly is no more life to be lived or that life itself is too much of a mental and physical burden. That's all I can hope for. Life will last for as long as it needs to. I won't be hooked up to a banks of machines to keep me alive. Now, if they perfect that robot body, that's a different story! *grins*