Is There Such a Thing As “Too Old”?

My girlfriend’s great-aunt passed last week at the age of 104. We’ll be attending her funeral tomorrow in Cherokee, Iowa, where she’d lived alone in the same apartment for the past 40 years.

Any time you’re going to attend a funeral of this nature where no one can honestly say the person died too soon, there’s a better feeling about the whole ordeal. I don’t particularly enjoy funerals, but that’s only because they never acheive that celebration-of-life motif I’m hoping for. This one should be different, though.

I hear a lot of people mention when they would like to die. This opinion usually hinges one what they would no longer be able to do. My buddy Joel said yesterday he would want to die rather than be immobile. Understandable for someone who is active, I guess. However, I choose to be more of an optimist when considering quality of life. I might be down to my last basic faculties, but I would love to live to see 104 or beyond.

I don’t think wanting to live a long life qualifies as selfishness, so long as you’re not compromising the quality of life of those around you. I can’t peg an age, but I never want to see the day where I can’t take care of myself. My generation forgets the whole nursing home trend didn’t really take off until the 1980s, so putting our elders in these communities is a relatively new thing. I see them becoming less popular as the generations who witnessed their grandparents’ discontentment will vehemently protest such a living situation.

I want to live a long life is what I mean to say. I don’t think you can ever be “too old.” That’s to suggest their is an acceptable degree of oldness, which makes no damn sense. So, I’m going to try and see what it’s like to be 104, like Kat did.

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2 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing As “Too Old”?

  1. Andrew,
    You and Aunt Kat would have had so much to talk about. You would have to cover religion and politics first and then she would have gladly shared with you her thoughts on “too old”.
    Her celebration of life was missing a few toasts but I guess we did that the night before!
    My grandmother always said, ” You are as old as you feel.”

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