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The Mortality Club

The Black Room

On my Facebook page devoted to my book, The Hourglass: Life as an Aging Mortal, I recently posted this quotation by singer-songwriter, Amy Grant: “I think for a woman, the hardest thing about growing old is becoming invisible. There's something very front and center about being young.” (https://www.facebook.com/agingmortal). The number of responses I have received indicates that “becoming invisible” is a widespread concern among we who are getting older.

It should be of concern. When we feel so insignificant that others fail to notice us, our self-esteem suffers, and our self-image shifts from a person who is empowered, who matters, who can influence events to that of a person who is exposed, vulnerable, helpless. Such a person whimpers and cowers, and panics at the least sign of trouble. They see no future, only life coming to an end. They grow despondent at the lack of expectation and act as though they are doomed and can do nothing about it.  Read More 
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Tears in the Rain

What do people think about when they are on the verge of death? Their last words give us an indication of their deepest thoughts as they face the great unknown. The more philosophical among us contemplate what death itself means. These contemplations lead to soliloquies that are memorable both in terms of their poetic brilliance, but also in terms of the insights they offer.

That few of us are capable of rendering such poetry at the moment of death is evident to me when I realize the only example I can think of is a fictional hero. At the end of the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, the replicant Roy Batty sits in the rain on the top of a roof with his life-long human adversary whom he has just rescued. He utters an incredibly moving death soliloguy.

“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain. Time to die.” Read More 
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