Dying

A close friend of mine died last night at age 94. From what I can tell, it was as good a death as one can expect these days. A death while sleeping.

It wasn't a death from Russian missile strikes. It wasn't a death caused by a botched back-alley abortion. It wasn't a death caused by a denied insurance claim. It wasn't a death caused by opioid addiction. It wasn't a death from suicide. It wasn't a death from freezing.

More and more people my age are dying these days. I was born in 1950 on the leading edge of the baby-boom, along with 3.6 million other new souls. That number grew to more than 4 million ten years later, before dropping again in the early 60s. The recent death rate is spiking from the combination of so many people reaching old age, and also because of covid. Death surrounds us.

Once upon a time I was afraid of death. No more. Given the hideous state of the world, it's hard to stay too enthusiastic about staying alive. Between climate risks, human stupidity, Republican authoritarians, and libertarian zealots, I find the appeal of "nothing" is increasingly seductive.

My friend lived a wonderful and love-filled life. He was a kind and generous person in every way. Peace be with you, kind sir.

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