I can’t stop thinking about death! 138



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Let’s face it, dying is a pretty dismissal subject. But, for some, it becomes a constant thought. What seems to happen all of a sudden, one’s body begins to whoosh down that ‘slippery slide’ of ill health and you find yourself thinking about ‘death’. Never mind the serious issues, all the other ‘aches and pains’ are enough to start you on that downward slope! What used to be an annual visit to the GP for the usual ‘oil change and grease’ becomes an almost weekly visit – and the news is never good. Take this pill, have this test, stop doing this or that – I feel like screaming ‘it’s too bloody late’!

I’m only 60 and I try each day to stop thinking those morbid thoughts but those little ‘blighters’ just wont stop coming! So far the only thing that appears to be functioning well enough is my mind and, given that I douse it with too much wine on a daily basis, that’s probably about to go down the gurgler too! Which brings me back to the title of my ‘blog’ – How soon is too soon? Truth is, slipping away quietly, painlessly; in my sleep tomorrow, right now would be my preferred option.  I’m no longer ‘the most important’ person in anyone’s life. Yes, my son’s love me; other members of my family love me, but the truth is I’m becoming a ‘burden’ to all of them and I don’t like it!

Now, on a brighter note, my bloody cast is off!! Not only do I suffer from severe clinical depression; had a benign tumour removed from my neck; diagnosed with breast cancer; but I also broke my ankle six weeks ago! It was my closest experience of being ‘dependant’ on others and I didn’t like it one little bit! Moon boots, crutches, cast – all that aside – someone else (thankfully, my sister) had to help me shower! Worst thing was, that given her time constraints, it could only occur once a week!! Whilst I was reluctant to do it (still a bit wobbly on the old pins), I took the risk and that afternoon I stood in the shower, all by myself. Showering is such a basic function. When you can’t do it by yourself, it’s the absolute pits! For those of our community who need help with such daily functions, I now understand how degrading that must feel. Thank God, a stranger wasn’t doing it for me.


Am I on my ‘Pat Malone’ in having these thoughts?  P.S. I’m doing a really poor job of growing old gracefully!

Susan Leighton

  1. Your not ” Alone ” with these kind of thoughts ……I’m 67 yrs of age (you notice i did’nt say “old “) I’m fit …I stay active ..I have estranged family …so I get a lot of time to myself ..I live alone at present …But, I’m “importing a Family ” ..loneliness is a cancer in itself ..so this will be the ” Instant cure ” of that LOL..but, one does have these thoughts on our personal mortality , it would be handy to “Know ” when ..one is about to fall off the perch …but, no thanks ..I prefer ” Surprises ” … so just think yourself Blessed everyday you wake …and as you ” Jump ” ( more like roll out and feel all the aches of the nights tossing and turning )out of bed ….be thankful for ‘another day above the ground ” …and enjoy a nice cup of tea

  2. Me too. Maybe it is because we can now see that light at the end of the tunnel so to speak! And looking back all we can see is the darkness at the other end of the tunnel.

  3. since turning 60 I’ve noticed I’ve suddenly being bombarded with Funeral insurance notices, bowl and other cancer test kits. I thought turning 60 would be an elightening time of life to explore and enjoy, all I seem to get is a constant reminder how close I am to death!. Sorry I ever told anyone I turned 60.

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    • ‘Ain’t that the truth’, Stewie! Once upon a time, my e-mail would be filled with funny jokes and e-mails from friends; my phone would ring with someone just wanting to have a chat and ask how I was (and mean it); now it’s a bombardment of indiscriminate e-mails from people I don’t know and the occasional text message!!

    • I agree , since turning 65 everyone assumes you are an aged pensioner and you are incapable of much , not all of us are pensioners , we are still working . But , I do occasionally think of how close we are to 70 , and that concerns me . But some people in their 80’s are having a great time and I hope that’s us in the future .

  4. Death is not a worry to me but the journey to my final breath does cross my mind from time to time. After seeing both my parents endure lengthy illness before dying I can but wish that it doesn’t happen to me. How nice it would be if when our time is up we pass away peacefully in our sleep without suffering pain and loss of dignity and independence in the final period on this mortal coil.

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  5. You not on your pat Malone.

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  6. Get a grip woman you still have a lot of living to do .I broke my femur at 67 couldn’t put foot to ground for 3 months but could always shower myself went to the pool for rehab every day.I had wonderful group of friends who visited every day with coffee then my husband wonderful nurse bought me a motorised scooter I could use in the house or put in car so I could still go out with friends .I could even do the vacuuming on the scooter.Dont think about death it will catch up with you soon enough surround yourself with happy friends and grow old disgracefully

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    • Yes I am still on my perch and swing upside down from time to time but always get back up…. If you dont have a partner it can be a lonely time, but friends are a great comfort and getting out and about best way you can… Animals too are a comfort and good companionship… I dont think about when I will die, sometimes though, how I will die, having seen many go through Alzheimers in different ways and lengths of time its hard not to think about it from time to time…

  7. It can be fatal.

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    • It’s not like I’m in a hurry, Gordon but I live in an Over 50’s relocatable home park and as I sit at my computer, watching the woman who has to use a walker; the older man who lives up the street and never gets a visitor; it reminds me that that I’m ‘too close for comfort’!

  8. I had a moon boot after ankle surgery and as the surgeon delayed removing it I struggled with all sorts aids provided by the local hospital. I was confined by stairs and steps to one part of the house, unable to negotiate just two steps down into our kitchen. It left me looking critically at house design as a probably less agile future approaches. My husband after a shaky start did a pretty good job looking after me. I hate to think how I’d have got on if I was alone. As for death it will come, my preference to go to sleep after a busy, exciting day and not wake up, the reality will probably be less pleasant but here’s hoping.

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    • Since my marriage ended, I’ve lived very independently (and relatively content) for over 20 years but once I broke that ankle – did I wish I had a partner!

  9. Death doesn’t bother me in the slightest but on the other hand relying on someone all the time to do things for me freks me out completely if I can’t fend for myself I simply don’t want to be here to distroy someone’s else’s life. not morbid just true.

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    • Kerry, it’s exactly those thoughts that worry me too! Asking for help has never been my strong point and the thought of being a ‘burden’ is probably the ‘basis’ of what prompted me to write this article. Whilst I can see both sides of the equation, personally I’m a strong advocate of ‘assisted dying’.

    • The thing I’m learning is,how to accept help graciously. None of us want to be in that position ever,but you know,people do like to help. I’m one of them,and I now see that I must also allow others to do,for me. God Bless all the Nurses! That’s their calling,to help people,so maybe we have to open our hearts to that possibility.

    • Sue I appreciate your concerns but I am not sick or considering the thought of dieing any time soon but I don’t think anyone should have to put their life on hold for me . I have no problems with taking care of someone else I just don’t want anyone to do it for me.If you see that as a problem I’m sorry.

    • Kerry, similarly I feel the same! I’ve always been far better at ‘caring’ for others. Like Catherine, I’ve learned to ‘accept’ help from others. There are just some things I find it difficult to do anymore and it has taken me some time to ‘ask and seek help’ and I’m so grateful for it.

    • Kerry, If they love you, they won’t mind caring for you. They may even learn things from this process that enriches their lives. I too have a fear that my body may fail me but that my mind will understand the body’s limitations. Or, that my mind will fail. Because I can’t decide which would be worse, I try not to think about it except at odd moments. Strokes run in my family, but I have one sister who is 88 and another is 84. They are both in nursing homes. Both are still very mentally alert. One has difficulty with mobility but the other is extremely mobile. This gives me hope, although I still see every day as a bonus and a blessing.

    • I feel that way as well. .in some ways I look forward to death because I believe I will be with my beloved husband who passed away 43 yrs ago. However, I am not in a hurry but my worst fear is that I will be dependent on someone else to have to take care of me. The thought of that happening gives me nightmares.

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