The Mortality Club

The War of the Ages

June 25, 2016

Tags: elderly, young vs. old, old man, old woman, generational divide


The television writer Andy Rooney once said, “Death is a distant rumor to the young.” Young people may be fascinated by stories of zombies and the living dead, but they do not fear death. They tend to regard it as an abstraction or somebody else’s problem. They tend to avoid discussing it with the old people in their lives. Young people look into the future and see a long trajectory. Old people see no future, only life coming to an end. Young people are filled with the spell of potential. Old people are despondent at the lack of expectation. Young people are hopeful. Old people too often act as though they are doomed.

Young people want to talk about their hopes and dreams for the future, or the great adventure or good time they’re going to have on the weekend or during vacation. Many old people only want to talk about their latest medical report, and their fears about what comes next. Young people look forward to trying new foods or having “fun foods” (translate: junk foods) with their friends. Their elders, meanwhile, dwell on all the foods they can’t eat for dietary reasons. (more…)

GROWING OLD by Gordon Nimmo

May 21, 2016

Tags: elderly, growing old, soul, after death, dying

Gordon Nimmo, a New Zealander whom I met while taking a cruise up the Danube, told this about his life. "I had to laugh when, five years ago, one of our granddaughters' friends at school said to me -- ( she was 5 at the time ) -- What is wrong with your
face ?? -- I said, I don't really know, -- has it got a red mark or
something ?? -- She said no, -- Its got cracks all over it !!-- Oh dear Oh
dear. That prompted me to write a story about how it feels to grow old."

GROWING OLD.

A few years ago, one of my Grandchildren innocently asked me what it was like to be old, and due to the fact that I had not, at that stage considered myself to be elderly in any way, I had some difficulty in answering the question. To say it was good, or not so good did not seem to me to be an adequate answer, and since then I have given considerable thought as to what would be more suitable and to the point.

The way I see it, growing old can be reasonably well compared with a situation where on one side of a street stands a line of people of varying ages from young to old, and on the other side, a street of houses with the same variations in age. The young people are in the newer houses and the old folk in the older ones. (more…)

Selected Works

Psychology/Aging and Dying
In youth we are invincible. The world is forever: we are forever. But, sentient creatures that we are, time inevitably plays its part. Aging and illness shadow those early sensibilities until one day we feel the lurking presence of death itself. Fearful of our own dark thoughts, too often we keep such anxieties to ourselves. To deny our own mortality is a parlor game of sorts, played within our own heads and frequently played alone. Pamela Cuming will have none of it. In her latest book, The Hourglass, she throws back the parlor curtains and lets the light stream in. This is a powerful, objective, unflinching, and yet profoundly empathic work that explores the rewards of honest caring⎯the privilege and the pain⎯not only for one’s friends and family but also for one’s self. Drawing upon an uncanny intuitive understanding of human foible plus a broad knowledge of character development, honed from decades of consulting in the business world, this is a book filled with personal stories both engaging and instructive. In short, The Hourglass is a must read for all those who seek to live life to the full, from start to finish. ________________ Peter C. Whybrow MD, Director of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Beavior at UCLA and award-winning author of The Well-Tuned Brain: Neuroscience and the Life Well Lived.
Fiction: Publication Date Nov 14, 2014
Set in New York City and Los Angeles between August 1999 and November 2001, The Stranger Box is the story of a mother and a daughter caught like two white dwarf stars in separate orbits, destined to collide. Though she does everything in her considerable power to insure the child never finds out who she is, the vain and self-obsessed Katherine Blair is unable to change the course of her destiny or evade Eden, the resourceful daughter whose pursuit is fueled by the desire for revenge and the determination to steal the family that has been denied her.
Memoir
Widow’s Walk is a bold, brave, and candid admission of bereavement, weakness, and, ultimately, strength.
Nonfiction
A strategic guide to organizational and personal effectiveness
Turf is a direct, and sometimes disturbing book about the use and abuse of power in organizations.

Quick Links