Nothing makes me feel quite so acutely aware of myself as hearing about death. Which doesn’t happen as often as you’d think.
Sure there are wars and fallen soldiers and Remembrance Days. And fatal home invasions and murders and terrorist attacks. People are dying everywhere but it’s different when you hear of the friend of a friend who took their life or the grandmother who died of someone you know or … when you see a dead body.
Because that’s when I remember that death isn’t supposed to be some foreign thing or something that only happens to other people. – it’s around the corner for all of us.
Sitting beside a man in the subway, I’d say in his late 70s, texting, slowly, reminded me that there’s supposed to be a relationship between the old and the young. Were supposed to call our grandmothers and help take care of the elderly. We are supposed to live close and learn from each other, and view ourselves in the context of a long life, not just surround ourselves with our peers.
But instead it takes random old subway texting man to remind me of the thing I hear about often, yet rarely feel. We age, and we die. And sometimes we die before we do much aging at all. And that sucks. But we’re supposed to feel it – we’re supposed to know it, through the people closest to it.