Three people I cared about died in August. A fit, active man of 70, whose heart gave out suddenly on his weekly cycle ride. A woman of 90 who’d wound down gradually but stayed active until her last weeks, when she died of cancer, peacefully at home surrounded by family. My father-in-law, experiencing various health setbacks and partial recoveries through his eighties, until he could take no more. I thought of them often as I read Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, an important, moving, challenging book on “illness, medicine and what matters in the end”. Read More →

Getting older means going downhill. Hearing goes, sight worsens, memory stutters, everything takes twice as long. We head inexorably towards Shakespeare’s “second childishness and mere oblivion/Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”.

Or do we? Read More →

One of the joys of old age is that you can get away with bad behaviour. Or so they say. You can speak your mind. You don’t have to bother with the niceties.

One of my fears about getting older is that I might say the first thing that comes into my head, and what if it’s bad?

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