Wee hours brooding
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
I hate growing old. Not because of the graying hair - I've gotten used to that. Or even the droopiness and wrinkles, or as I like to tell the hub: sedimentation and erosion. I've gotten used to those as well.
No, what I hate about growing old is that everyone around me is growing old too. In the last year I've lost one colleague to full retirement and two to half retirement. There are about 15 of us left with equivalent positions, and 9 are old enough to retire - it's going to feel very lonely at work in a few years. It's certainly getting more stressful because those of us left have more to do since our retirees are not being replaced.
Two close family friends had multiple bypass surgeries last year; close calls. We lost one colleague to cancer. Another one has been diagnosed with early dementia. The hub lost an uncle to cancer a few months ago. I lost one aunt to old age last year, and my other is still recovering from a stroke.
One of my work colleagues lost his mother yesterday. She went into hospice last week; she was elderly but took a sudden turn for the worse. He has spent the last days living in her hospital room. He stopped by yesterday morning to update us, and it was hard to know what to say. The day reminded me of losing my Dad so many years ago - so much pain, grief so strong it felt like stabs in my chest.
It feels like a long steady stream of good-byes, stretching endlessly into the future. We're lucky to have each other while we do, but in the end we will all leave each other. It's the cost of loving each other; we pay for it eventually. It's a dear price, but well worth the joys that we share with each other.
Still, today I'm hating growing old. Or maybe I'm just feeling sad - I learned today about another young male trainee at work, not one I'd ever met, committing suicide over the weekend. That has nothing to do with age, so it feels particularly cruelly tragic. I can't imagine what his parents, who live several states away, are going through.