Lois M. Collins: Dying is part of our everyday chatter

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  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 25, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    Marxist, I'm with you bud all the way.

    I often say the bad news is my body is pretty worn out. The good news is I wore it out, and I hope my "golden years" work out the same.

    I'm probably a little older than you but just shot 78 yesterday at Glendale, and in the final stages of mastering a new album I've been recording this past year (re-living my ill begotten youth). Yet this is all possible because I took advantage of a government sponsored education, I worked in the sweet spot of history where companies provided retirement benefits that I now enjoy, and I live in a country that had the foresight to create social security.

    "We need a new commitment to dignified retirement" Amen! I don't think dignified retirement means early retirement, or necessarily having wealth. It's simply the means to be independent as long as possible.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 25, 2014 12:10 a.m.

    Yes, Lois, I am in my late 60's so I really think about death, and also taking advantage of what good years I have left. Checking the actuarial charts I see I can expect to live 15 more years which would be (if I'm lucky) 5 good years, 5 mediocre years, and 5 crappy years. I intend to take advantage of the first five.

    There is a lot of talk, as we get stingier about retirement, regarding postponing one's retirement. Work 'til you drop so to speak. Or 60 is the new 40 - baloney. We need a new commitment to dignified retirement. Protect social security. Regardless of what happens, take advantage of the good years. But to do that we have to admit we are all GOING TO DIE. Maybe sooner than we think.

  • Lois Collins Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    Great catch. Thanks.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    June 24, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Great article Lois, and so sensible. I live on the other side of the country from my parents. When my dad died four years ago he was 90 years old, he got to live his whole life in his own house and he spent 62 years of his life with the love of his life, my mom. I miss him badly -his good sense, his passion for justice and his wonderful smile - but I can't say we or he got cheated. He was in the hospital about two weeks when he passed away. I would call that a "good death."

    My mom is doing well but she has severe arthritis that limits her mobility and although she has the wit of a 40 year old woman when I talk to her everyday on the phone, when I visit her I see what a frail little woman she is. I know she is torn between staying in the world and joining my father on the other side. Your essay is very helpful to all of us either growing old or looking forward to caring for our loved ones.

    one more thing - I think the term is uncharted territory. Just sayin'.