I have many older friends, some in their 70’s and 80’s, some nearing 90. I love listening to their recollections of childhood, how things were done “back then.” They have lost siblings, spouses, children, and friends over the years, and I ask them how they cope. One gentleman told me, “You just get used to it,” while another one said he never has gotten used to it, and in fact, is no better at grieving than he ever was. He described his living room wall as holding many images of the dead, and wasn’t sure if they made him happy or sad, but he still keeps those photos there to remind him of all of those loves.
They have a long-range view of humanity, these older friends. Some of them remember World War II, and the Great Depression, and they assure me that as bad as things seem right now, both of those events were worse. But they do mention being grateful that they will not be here for future global climate change events. They tell me that they don’t spend much time speculating upon how many years they have left, but focus upon living right now and enjoying the days however they may.Continue reading