We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I posted on Monday about the death of someone I'd gone to high school with and the conversations it sparked, as well as the odd situation it presented due to the poor teen experience I'd had (and since resolved for myself), and the difficulty of finality when a relationship ends poorly.
Part of writing in a forum like this is to just 'get stuff out there'. Another part is to share ideas or feelings that may help others. Still another part is seeing what others share back.
Every single comment made is helpful and meaningful. While I haven't written for quite some time (I really need to fix how I handle time management), this was something I felt was good to share. I'm glad I did and thank you to everyone who commented. Maggie's is not just a forum to write, it's a place to share. One reason I like to post anonymously is because writing can be a way to draw attention to yourself, and that's not what I write to do. While some readers do know who I am, most don't. I like seeing what almost all our readers have to say (there is a rare comment I can't abide by...but free speech still rules my life). In this particular case - all were very useful.
Death and Birth are two things which bind us all. It's something we're all going to experience. The stuff in between? We're all going through stuff. Just stuff. My believe is sharing will help develop ways8: for us to bind together in better ways. So always trying to be open.
I wrote this but it never posted. My power went out. It amazingly enough wasn't lost, but... in the spirit of sharing...
Re: Death of Classmate
My classmates started dying young. (I think I am a couple of years older than you.) I lived in a rural community, so there were kids killed in car accidents, farm accidents, drowning. (One friend from another town was murdered.) The next thing to take them was drugs and drug-related causes. Sometimes that was shocking -- the big high school jock died of liver failure related to alcohol and drug use. Unfortunately, back in high school, we could tell that some of them we knew were headed in that direction. Even cancer started taking my classmates fairly young: the first classmate to die from cancer was when we were in our early forties.
One of the things I have grown to appreciate about Facebook (as so many people curse it) is that it has allowed me to forgive the people who treated me like s**t in high school. (And I was treated like s**t back then.) Some of them, I still don't trust, but the hate I felt for years is gone. It has also facilitated reaching out to those who are dying. I was able to share with two classmates what I remembered fondly about them. I got a chance to say goodbye.
Re: Starting to feel "old."
The things that have made me feel "old" have more to do with the age of my sister's kids. The youngest i 40! But I still think of her as a "kid." She is a real adult! And starting to get presbyopia. ACK!! the other thing that made me feel old was when my optometrist started talking to me about cataract surgery. (I'm not there yet, but it is coming...)
Re: Prepared for the End
My elderly relative got all her ducks in a row about ten years ago after her husband died: will, living will / advanced directive, health care power of attorney, durable power of attorney. But starting three years ago, her grasping, duplicitous, devious neighbor has been working on her and this summer she succeded. My elderly relative removed EVERYONE from all that -- disowned her actual family -- and instead, named the neighbor. This was a learning experience for me. I learned that unless elderly people are totally and completely out of it, babbling gaga idiots, they cannot be considered "incompetent." Even if they are dementing and paranoid, they are considered competent enough to "do what they want" and there WILL be a lawyer (especially a school chum of the neighbor's husband) who WILL help them with it. And there is NOTHING that can be done about it.
Our lawyer talked to her new lawyer (not the same one who had prepared all the other stuff ten years ago; the school chum) and our lawyer said that the new lawyer was "very defensive of her client's competence." I pointed out that she would be, wouldn't she? After, if she does all this for a client who is actually INCOMPETENT, it reflects badly on her as a lawyer. She has a vested interest in her client being considered "competent."
(The elderly relative is now completely isolated from her family and her old friends. And there is pretty much nothing we can do about it.)
I agree with you regarding Facebook. I have reconnected with friends from college, renewed high school bonds which I'd willingly severed because of bad experiences (we all grow up), and I've reconnected with family - and even made a few friends (one VERY funny story where the person I made friends with is actually extremely well known in Hollywood circles, as is the rest of his family, though he is very Libertarian, which surprised the hell out of me).
Your stories actually mirror mine. I grew up in a rural area, but my cohort has only started dying in larger numbers over the last 3 years. It's definitely a variety of factors - but never age (at least not yet). Drug abuse is one item, poor quality of life another, some are just congenital or unknown/undiagnosed issues.
Always distressing - but to your point, it's all about how you approach things.