Facing the Inevitable. Alone.

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Facing the Inevitable. Alone.

Tilting at windmills or slaying dragons is too retro for my taste. I’d rather just have a man who tickles my funny bone, or at the very least one who tickles my fancy. At my age, I am between vulnerable stages. I don’t need anyone to save me financially or ego-wise. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to house and feed myself for the twenty or so years I have left and unless I have a serious decline in mental and physical power, I will always have blogging to salve my ego–a few loyal followers who still want to hear what I have to say.

Whatever I have made of my life, it is a pickle of my own choosing. I have not been jinxed or done ill to—at least recently. What I have I deserve. What I don’t have, I deserve. I don’t look forward to that day when fate will serve me a bitter dish, but that part of me that has to binge-watch *”After Life” or listen to an Audible book to get to sleep at night knows it one day will. In spite of my niggling lifelong conviction that I’ve been left on this planet by some foreign species and that I’ll be picked up soon and whisked off to a life unending, that part of me that needs constant distraction knows that I am human and therefore vulnerable.

Those with partners may think my title here sad, but there is another way of looking at it. Those of us unmatched and “unespoused” have only one inevitable death to face. We need fear no phone call when parted or unwelcome discovery when together. The only death we need fear is our own.  We have half of the dread that the happily paired must face as they approach a certain age.

With increasing regularity, when with friends my own age, after we have hurriedly (I hope) gone over the ills of today—knee replacements and hip replacements and intestinal disorders and the ilk—we eventually get around to discussing various methods of insuring the end we desire over Alzheimer’s or stroke. I have a high bridge picked out. Various friends have pill stashes. Everyone knows which friends, in spite of their obituaries, have already made this choice.

What we fear most is waiting too long and forfeiting the choice and spending the rest of our days in some repository for the walking dead—those antiseptic storehouses where they partition off residents unlucky enough to have not experienced a swift death—those cursed either with an active mind trapped in a body turned to stone or the reverse. What living hell is this, that so many of the aged are now preserved in part who in an earlier age would have been afforded a dignified death?

There is something about writing to multiple prompts that takes us into a part of our brain where otherwise we might have not gone. So it is with this seemingly pessimistic rambling into the dark side of my brain. Although nothing I say is fiction, still, perhaps the balance is wrong. Here is no discussion of the birds outside my early-morning sunlit curtains or the components of my morning smoothie that await my hand in compiling them. It does not mention friends that still stimulate and amuse, relatives that still fill my heart.

It overlooks those twenty potential years that I hope will lead up to whatever end I face. These are just words that I shed during a side trip through consciousness. Do not call me or consult with mutual friends, worrying about my state of mind. I am in no way suicidal. I am not morose. I am simply wandering through a few alleys where I think we must all wander from time to time, and as we grow older, where we wander more frequently. For in spite of my title, I don’t really think I wander here alone.

* “After Life” is a new show on Netflix, written and played by Ricky Gervais. A bit dark, but worth binge-watching if you’re in the right frame of mind. Along with the four prompt words, it is perhaps what put me in the mood to write this piece. I have a feeling it is more Ricky Gervais’s attitude than my own.  Well, maybe a wedding of the two.


Prompt words today are pickle, retro, dragon and jinx. Here are the links:

22 thoughts on “Facing the Inevitable. Alone.

  1. isaiah46ministries

    You write the words many of us think. Being the oldest generation of our families means we must not continue to think we are the one person not slated to die. Good post, and yes, my fear is losing Douglas or leaving him.


    1. lifelessons Post author

      It is rather a downbeat piece, but lately I want to plumb all of the areas of my brain…not just the upbeat ones. This will, however, I hope, not become a habit. What you say about having a conviction that we will be that one person slated not to die is a long-held thought in the back of my mind. Another frequent thought lately is what my last moments will be like..Keep trying not to face up to that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. gizzylaw

    To some this piece may seem dark. To me it is a ray of light. It is standing and looking at the alleys and byways that lurk. It is confronting and continuing. It is the smile on my Great-Grandmother’s face the last night she was with us. This post is comforting to me. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Mickey Basden

    Fearlessly Facing the Inevitable, Alone

    As I amble through the ninth decade of my convoluted life, I reminisce …
    I devote much of my time and effort to blogging. I humbly accept that my essays are devoid of substance, and that my family and few remaining friends are justified in their collective decisions to ignore my posts.
    I reflect on my father’s usual comment, upon hearing my latest criticism of oppressive edicts from government … “Abe, you’re tilting at windmills.”
    My Quixotic efforts have through my life been confined to verbal discourse, or written dissertation such as a Letter to the Editor submission to the local newspaper. Those letters which were published seemed always to draw angry response from readers with tender toes.
    Yet do I continue. For me the challenge is irresistible. I must not ignore my perceived duty to refute the unreasonable, illogical position of a proponent of some ridiculous scheme to solve humanity’s problems with another government program.
    Then a few years ago I discovered the Blogosphere. Here I entered a rich field of opportunity for my crotchety expression of irrelevant, self-centered ideas.
    My freedom of self expression has a companion freedom — the delicious freedom from fear. I no longer fear my death, and in my glorious solitude I have no need to fear the death of a life companion.
    My only fear centers on the possibility of being confined to a wheelchair — unspeaking, drooling, unable to communicate even my smallest wishes to uncaring attendants who manage various bodily needs.
    Recent media coverage suggests that solitude in old age is responsiblle for depression, and may lead to suicide. Commentary encompasses the numberless accidental overdoses of narcotic pain pills, enhanced by the synergism of alcoholic beverage. One wonders if the victims were so drunk that they did not understand their circumstances. Hmmm?
    I am happy, enthusiastically eager to be doing what I enjoy, impatient to begin each new effort, and then joyous at the completion of one of my many projects.
    I feel a strange smug contentment when I relax, in my recliner, in my apartment, in front of my TV, with the current book of my selection, with a tray of my own home-cooked meal at the end of my day of proud accomplishment.
    Not even remotely close depression — A close introspective analysis reveals that I am in better shape, emotionally and mentally, than I was throughout my life.
    I look forward to another ten or fifteen years of a good life.


  4. Martha Kennedy

    My two very married friends here, who love their husbands, told me — when I mentioned a man (in another country 7000 miles away) has been writing me love letters for years and might come here, both of them said, “NO! No! Martha! You’re FREE!!!” They’re right. I’m free.


  5. koolkosherkitchen

    I don’t even want to comment on this, Judy, other than what I’ve said before: you’ve writing of death pretty often lately. I hope you are only “plumbing your brain,” and there is no physical reason for these thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marilyn Armstrong

    Sigh. My best friend had a heart attack and mine is not is great shape either. Those of us with partners are painfully aware that someone will be going first and the other will be miserable. I feel too old, too tired, and too poor to survive another 20 years.


  7. nakedinfiniverse

    So you did it too! I watched the first season of After Life in one sitting. Me and a couple of younger relatives had avidly counted down to March 8th, the release date. As each episode ended I kept telling myself I’d only watch one more…suddenly it was 4 am and I realised I was going to have to wait a long time for the second season.

    Have you seen Flowers? It’s into its second season and is available on Netflix. Very English. Very dark. Very good.

    I appreciated this post. It seems to be a taboo subject for blogging – as if we should to pretend that we don’t know we are as mortal as our forebears. Inspired by ‘Remember Me’ by Christina Rossetti, I once wrote a poem about dying. Several of my followers thought it was tantamount to a suicide note. I haven’t dared touch on the subject since. Now I don’t have to – this eloquent post says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, NITU..I really appreciate your comment and feel comforted that someone else binge watches shows they like. I’ll check out Flowers. I don’t have TV antenna, dish or cable, by choice, so Netflix and a certain friend who knows who he is are my saviors.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lindakempwriter

    After Life is next on my to-watch list on Netflix. I’ve heard such good things about it. Loved your post too, thanks. All too often we are guilty of shying away from the dark stuff, the realities of life. I told one my boys last week, that death is a part of life…he’s getting worried about Grandma dying (my mum, who’s in her late 70s and has some issues with her heart. Bypass in 2017 and intermittent chest pains ever since). I suggested we just enjoy life, be grateful, love what we have. Death comes anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sue

    An honest look at life and death that we will all inenvitably face my fellow blogging friend. I think this world needs more honest thoughts like this, and if that existed without others’ judgement, I think the world would be a better place! Well said.



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