Death and Decline

In one of my recent posts, BD (before the disaster) I described we are at the age of decline, but this is natural and to be expected. I mentioned a female classmate we all know, saying she recently dropped her Internet connection.

I quickly got an indignant reply, saying she certainly did not consider herself in decline, and she still has an Internet connection for her phone. She only got rid of her computer.

I’m glad that she can deceive herself. Sometimes, aging gracefully requires a good deal self-deception.

The confusion was my fault. As the writer, it is my job to make an idea clear to the reader. I was trying to say that decline is natural as we approach the end of our lives, and we can still place emphasis on a specific topic to be better at that than we ever were. For example, we may study British history and end up knowing more about British royalty than we ever did, but this came by spending energy, energy that was taken from other activities. We can thereby fool ourselves into thinking we are improving, not declining.

Add it all up, and we are still in decline, but that is the way it should be. Most of us will be willing, even eager, to go when the time comes. Death would really be a terror if we still had our youthful looks and energy, and were planning a new career.

I once told a young granddaughter, “Of course, you will be sad at my funeral, but either you will go to my funeral or I will go to yours, and I never, never want to go to yours.”

Think about that!

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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