The Other Side Of Seventy.


Mike’s post of the same title inspired this post from me. Please read the comments from me and Mike’s response to it too.

Just a day after that I received this in a WhatsApp message from my sister.

Yesterday afternoon, I received news that my friend, philosopher and guide of many years HI died following a failed chemotherapy session for cancer.

Last week was news of the death of a classmate and dear friend.

On the 10th inst, Nick wrote about biographies and autobiographies. I commented there : “I am not and never was into bio/autobiographies. Somehow, I just could not get interested in that genre. My own kind of biography is perhaps my blog just like yours is yours.” Nick responded with “Yes, blogs are very much a form of biography. Not at all chronological, but revealing all sorts of personal details.”

Little did I know that I was about to read an autobiography, and what a one!

Later yesterday, I received a forward of a video of a Cardiologist talking about life and death and how to manage our lives where he referred to a book called When Breath Becomes Air. I got a Kindle version and started reading it and just could not put it down.

Most of my readers here are senior citizens and quite a few are avid readers. For these, I strongly recommend this book. The most poignant and elegant book that I have ever read about a person’s last days written by himself.

8 thoughts on “The Other Side Of Seventy.”

  1. I read that book while I was going through chemo and LOVED it. I keep a quote by Paul Kalanithi where I can see it as I work every day:

    “I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”

  2. Deepest sympathy on the loss of your friends. I lost 2 precious ones this year too.
    I read the book several years ago, I took some notes from it. Quite powerful. I also recommend Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking – quite extraordinary.

    XO
    WWW

    1. As you may recollect, my own post loss experience after my wife had died while balancing a four year caregiving one for my father was made possible by a great deal of reading and one of the books that I had read then was The Year Of Magical Thinking. Now that you have reminded me of that, I have downloaded it again in my kindle for re-reading. Thank you.

  3. Impossible to predict how I would feel or react if I was given a terminal diagnosis. Would I be philosophical about it or would I feel hard-done-by and ask, why me? One thing I would do is draw up a bucket list, which for a start would include a sightseeing trip in a small plane.

    I also enjoyed The Year of Magical Thinking.

  4. How little I knew, when I wrote that original post, what the future, even the near future would bring.

    I am the oldest of six; four are half-siblings. I talked to their mother, Mary, yesterday. She was understandably distraught and was rather brusk with me. “You never call. We haven’t heard from you in a long time.” I had no excuse. I made no excuse. We talked for three-quarters of an hour. My 89-year-old dad couldn’t talk to me because his hearing aids weren’t working right for phone calls. She relayed some of the conversation, but mostly I talked to Mary.

    She’s 82, about eight years younger than my dad, and 12 years older than me. While she repeated herself quite a few times in the conversation, I think it’s mostly due to the forgetfulness that comes with aging.

    I hadn’t called in a long time. My dad and I haven’t ever been really close. Often our phone calls have been when times were bad.

    I had to call yesterday. Times are bad again. Mary was understandably distraught.

    Her oldest, my sister, Kathi, won’t be with us when I make it to the other side of seventy. Covid took her from us. She was 63.
    Mike recently posted..$1798

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