One of the disadvantages of getting older – note I didn’t say more mature (mainly because that would involve growing up which should be avoided for as long as possible) – is that the time interval between me having to attend the funerals of friends and colleagues is getting less.
On the other and somewhat macabre side of the equation – though a matter of indisputable reality – they are also getting fewer and fewer which brings me to the subject.
We all know that getting out of this life alive is a definite non-starter and also that as people get older they realise, recognise and think more about their own mortality.
I have a friend who is only a few years younger than me who seems obsessed with what age is doing to him.
Like me he’s going bald – or as I’ve decided to explain it “going eggshell blonde on top and ash blonde at the sides 😄 – however unlike me my friend has taken the option not to have a short haircut but to have a comb-over.
Which is fine until there is a breeze of minimal velocity.
Ah the vanity of man.
Like me he now wears spectacles.
In themselves neither are signs of a diminishing life force signalling the impending long sleep after all there are a lot of men who both go bald and have to wear glasses from a relatively young age.
What has been clear lately though is his obsession with his health – the slightest sniffle and he thinks he’s caught and is suffering from the early stages of bubonic plague – or something even worse – man-flu.
The problem is he can still out-swim me, out-cycle me and on the static rowing machine leave me in his wake.
Which means doesn’t it that the roles should be reversed and I should be the one worrying?
Except I don’t see the point in worrying about something that is inevitable – not that I’m in a hurry to find out.
I’m not sure what psychiatrists would make of it.
I’m sure they would have a highly educated and technical explanation for older people who become preoccupied with their own demise.
I suppose we – the ordinary person – would say it’s a sign of some kind of mental illness.
Anyway thinking of my friend I have re-evaluated my views and come up with the following.
Death Can Wait
Dear spectre of death
I hope you’re not disappointed
To hear what I have to say
But if I have my way
It may well be some time
Before I call it a day
Now I know you may be keen
To wield your terminal scythe
But it is my intention
That you should wait a while
You see I am quite busy
With this thing called life
There is so much to do
You clearly do not realise
That life itself is fun
It is the greatest feeling
And I’m very far from done
So death can I suggest
You go and look elsewhere
There’s no point coming for me
You may as well admit defeat
Because it’s going to be sometime
Before we actually meet