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The pains of getting older.

by turbo
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turbo
#1
Mar30-12, 11:37 AM
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Some are physical, and some are emotional. Two days ago, my neighbor ~70 years old had a stroke and was rushed to a stroke/coronary center in Bangor. Hopefully, they can do something to relieve the pressure on his brain, and he doesn't lose much functionality. My wife's favorite aunt (~93) is in that same hospital and is not expected to last for more than the next day or so. At least she didn't fall victim to senile dementia like her sister (my mother-in-law), and had a sharp mind and a good memory every time I talked to her. A good long life and a merciful (not drawn-out, painful) death are something we can all aspire to.

Until a year or two ago, I'd breeze right past the obituaries in the morning paper. Now, though, it seems that a couple of times a week people that I know have died, including the parents of friends, and even former class-mates. I'm a couple weeks away from hitting 60, so it's not that surprising that people in their 80s are kicking off, but still jarring to see an obit about somebody that you grew up knowing.

A guy that died recently has a big soft spot in my heart. He was fishing the tailwaters of the local hydro-dam and hooked into a huge salmon, and he told me to grab his landing net and land that monster. My father was horrified - even moreso when I made the rookie mistake of grabbing the line when that big fish didn't want to get into the net! It all turned out OK, and that football-shaped land-locked salmon ended up mounted and displayed on the wall of the local variety store that sold fishing licenses in the next town. My father was giving me hell, and Junior patted me on the back and told me that I "did good".
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lisab
#2
Mar30-12, 12:09 PM
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Carpe diem! It all ends way, way too soon.
DragonPetter
#3
Mar30-12, 12:12 PM
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I'm sorry to hear about your wife's aunt and neighbor.

I'm curious, what is more painful about getting old, seeing the people you've known fall apart from old age, which is inevitable, or seeing life go on without you and seeing young people doing and enjoying things that you won't be able to do or that you missed your chance to do?

Edit: Along the same lines, is it painful to know you won't be around when science discovers some of the greatest mysteries of today?

turbo
#4
Mar30-12, 12:12 PM
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The pains of getting older.

I think it was Jackson Browne that said that all we leave behind is the way we lived our lives.
turbo
#5
Mar30-12, 12:16 PM
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Quote Quote by DragonPetter View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your wife's aunt and neighbor.

I'm curious, what is more painful, seeing the people you've known fall apart from old age, which is inevitable, or seeing life go on without you and seeing young people doing and enjoying things that you won't be able to do or that you missed your chance to do?
I have worked on ski-patrols, raced in HS, done white-water kayaking and canoeing, technical rock climbing, orienteering, built hopped up Harleys, etc, etc. I don't feel that I have missed out on much. It's sad but inevitable to see older people that are dear to you dying off. I used to think that people who HAD to scan the obits were morbid. I see that differently now.
turbo
#6
Mar30-12, 12:29 PM
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Quote Quote by DragonPetter View Post
Along the same lines, is it painful to know you won't be around when science discovers some of the greatest mysteries of today?
Not really. I have some inclinations as to which way the quantum world and classical physics can be reconciled, but I'd probably be infracted for mentioning them here. Science will plod along (with occasional surges) as it always has, and it doesn't really matter if I'm around to see some serious progress toward a GUT. We all have our appointed times, and we can't aspire to more.
DragonPetter
#7
Mar30-12, 12:45 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
Not really. I have some inclinations as to which way the quantum world and classical physics can be reconciled, but I'd probably be infracted for mentioning them here. Science will plod along (with occasional surges) as it always has, and it doesn't really matter if I'm around to see some serious progress toward a GUT. We all have our appointed times, and we can't aspire to more.
I'm a lot younger than you and I still get depressed that I missed the lifetime-extension/immortality boat that will probably be available to future generations.
jim hardy
#8
Mar30-12, 12:47 PM
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But Turbo dont you find your insight getting better? And your patience with people?

When i turned forty i said to Mom "Life is starting to make more sense"
she replied "Wait'll seventy".

If we can take anything with us it's memories. I try to make mine kind ones.
turbo
#9
Mar30-12, 12:50 PM
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Quote Quote by jim hardy View Post
If we can take anything with us it's memories. I try to make mine kind ones.
That's a good thing. If we die knowing that we have treated people kindly, and have tried to do good, that's good enough, IMO.
rhody
#10
Mar30-12, 01:44 PM
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I have shared the same thoughts you stated more times than I care to admit, especially in the past five years, to that end, here is something I have been working on and will continue to work on until I leave this planet, keep your mind fresh with ideas, new challenges, and to seek out those who are a decade or two younger than you as part of your inner circle of friends and associates. If you don't, you stand to wake up one day with everyone who meant anything to you gone forever. Having younger friends helps from becoming depressed, and at some point alone. Stay connected and alive...

Rhody...
drizzle
#11
Mar30-12, 02:11 PM
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Having a strong family bonds, cures most of life's cruelness.
turbo
#12
Mar30-12, 02:14 PM
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Quote Quote by Gad View Post
Having a strong family bonds, cures most of life's cruelness.
True, but most of us need friends and people with similar interests to keep us alert. Family does not always do that. I hope that when I die, there are people who will at least say "he was a good person".
I like Serena
#13
Mar30-12, 05:02 PM
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When my father died, that shook me and my brothers and mother.
It shows that life is not unending and makes one wonder.
In a sense it brought us all together.
I didn't use to have any experience with growing old and dying.
Evo
#14
Mar30-12, 06:28 PM
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I guess my perspective is a bit different because people close to me started dying while I was in my early teens. Classmates, neighbors, best friend's parents, close family members, when I was 16 a boy that thought he was in love with me commited suicide over me. When I was 18 a co-worker that was a good friend and I had a crush on was murdered. Now most of my family and old friends are dead and in the distant past. Seems like my losses have been going on forever.
chiro
#15
Mar30-12, 06:38 PM
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Quote Quote by turbo View Post
True, but most of us need friends and people with similar interests to keep us alert. Family does not always do that. I hope that when I die, there are people who will at least say "he was a good person".
I am pretty sure that at least on here at PF, despite most not having met you in person (like myself) would agree that you already deserve that honor.
Astronuc
#16
Mar30-12, 06:41 PM
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It's not so much older, as living a long time. Inevitably one's mortality becomes more real and definite, especially when one loses friends and family members.
turbo
#17
Mar30-12, 07:32 PM
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I don't really mind getting older (no choice, anyway), but there are losses all along the way. Some are more tolerable than others.
OldEngr63
#18
Mar30-12, 09:31 PM
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The pains of getting older are very real, however. We don't feel nearly as energetic as we once did, we move a lot slower, we get tired a lot faster, and we just simply do not think as fast as we once did -- or at least I find all of these to be true for myself. Some mornings, it just aches to get out of bed, but it also aches to stay in bed (that's a lousy choice to face, let me tell you!). You get to the point where doctor's appointments become a major part of your social calendar which is a pretty dismal comment on your life.


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