Most of us don’t like getting old. Our culture has privileged youth to such an absurd degree it is common to hear about people getting all sorts of surgical interventions not to make them healthier but to make them look younger. We are told it is impolite to ask someone’s age, as if continuing to live is shameful somehow. I just don’t get it.
When we are younger we can’t wait to be 12 to stay at home by ourselves, 13 so we are a teenager, 14 for a learner’s license, 16 for a driver’s license, 18 to vote (or to drink depending on where you are), 19 to drink in Saskatchewan, 21 to drink anywhere, and then it begins to drop off. People say they are “29 and holding” because turning 30 means something bad. What a way to live. I’m 58 (I’ve recently done the math but I’ll check again to make sure . . . yup, 58) and I’m indifferent to who knows. If I look older or younger than my age that’s someone else’s experience with what a 58 year old person looks like talking, it isn’t reality; I look my age because I have always looked my age because there is no other age I can look.
There is one thing I don’t like about getting older. The older I get, the more people I love die. There isn’t really a way to sugarcoat it. As I try to understand why I have crashed at this time I wonder if part of it is the number of those people in the past while. Since June 2019 I’ve had seven. I haven’t been to or led all of the funerals, some were too far away but I’ve been to several and even if I can’t get to a funeral I still grieve. In the year and a day before I started leave I’ve lost: Andy, Dad (Jim), Erd, Betty, Wally, Gordon, and Bill.
The only way to prevent this is to stop making friends, to stop loving people, and I’m not going to do it. The pain of loss is less than the joy of love and as the pain lessens, as it does, the love remains. To all of us who are grieving anyone on my list or on your own, may we be well as we grieve well and live in the reality of a God who loves us, always.
The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
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