Today, the realization that one day my friends won’t be here anymore hit me. Old age has always been something that saddened me. Every time I walk by an old lady, or a homeless person, it creates this aching chasm.
I remember once when I was 10, a very breathtaking epiphany hit me: what if the me of yesterday, the me of right now, and the me of tomorrow are all living their lives at the exact same “time”, just on different planes?
It’s a pretty heavy thought, isn’t it? That maybe this is why we have deja vu’s. It may be just that we’ve caught a glimpse of something from a different plane. A momentary slip of the veil. Isn’t it a fascinating thought, though? Albeit slightly romanticized.
Well, today, my epiphany is of a much sadder nature. It just occurred to me exactly why growing old is so sad. As much as the only certainty in Life is that things constantly change, as much as that eventually, Death becomes an old friend, if only through sheer experience of loss. As much as all of that is true, isn’t it sad how one day, when we look into the mirror, it will no longer be our face that stares back at us but a stranger’s?
Didn’t Rose put it best in Titanic, when she saw the old hand mirror that belonged to her, “This was mine. How extraordinary! It looks the same as the last time I saw it... The reflection has changed a bit”?
The material things we have in life will never change. Pages in a book may yellow, places we loved may disappear, but nothing will change as greatly as our bodies. Nothing will change as greatly as us. And Death will be an old friend because we will have known him through the loss of friends, through the loss of family. As time passes, so shall our loved ones. I think this may be why old people are the least afraid to die.
When you’re young, you don’t think about it so much because you expect to live forever.
Old people probably feel as though they have lived forever. It must be a lonely existence, if you think about it, to have outlived all your friends. Sure, you may have grandchildren and children, and perhaps even great grandchildren, but… I think it must be terribly, awfully sad. To look at photographs and see faces of people you grew up with and knowing that you’re the only person left who remembers the memories that used to be shared.
Although… My imagination is just running amok as usual.
It is a devastatingly sobering thought though, isn’t it?