A friend of mine died last night. In fact, she was more than a friend, she was my last mentor. I met with her every month or two for coffee at her kitchen table. She was 87 when she died, couldn’t see or hear well and had recently fallen and was now out of her house, bedridden in a nursing home.
When I learned of her fall, I called her right away. Her first words on the phone were, “It’s time.” She meant it was time to take the Washington state approved “death with dignity” pill and end her life.
She was my mentor on how to grow old gracefully. Her advice could be summarized as don’t let your world shrink, keep active and keep doing the things you love to do.
For my friend, her world had suddenly shrunk beyond acceptance. Her quality of life was no longer tolerable and was never going to improve. She had grown old gracefully, and died the same way.