Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cause of death

Reading the obituary for George Osmond yesterday, I learned that the Osmond family patriarch died "of complications related to old age," according to Valerie Nelson of the LA Times. Is that a real diagnosis, I wonder. I know that there are complications related to old age; I just didn't know you could die from them.

My dad is turning 70 tomorrow, which continually surprises me. I know this will sound dumb, but he was in his sixties for so long that 70 comes as a real shock. In part because 70 actually sounds like the age of someone who is old. And how can that be?

People who are in their 70s and 80s often tell me that getting old is a lousy business. Painful, too. My dad has had a hip done; my mom is recuperating from knee surgery. And it's not as though things continually improve from that point on. Still, I look at my parents and they have in many ways reached a point of equanimity that was not open to them in the prime of their life.

Goodness knows, it sounds like George Osmond had his ups and downs, but a decent life overall. I imagine there are worse ways to go than to die of old age.

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