COVID unpredictability lingers

COVID unpredictability lingers

Before COVID-19, many of us over the age of 60 never regarded ourselves as “older adults” or as someone with an underlying medical condition. However, it didn’t take long for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and county public health officers to place new classifications on us once the novel coronavirus arrived in the United States.

I have many friends over the age of 60 who would consider themselves vital, with jobs or volunteer duties, large networks and busy lives.

Their age was never a primary identifier for them, and their medical situation was something they controlled while still managing their robust lives.

Aligned in death

a good deathDeath is a certainty for all of us, but the “where” and “how” are increasingly our own choice. I’ve been in the room for a handful of deaths and have heard clients and friends recounting stories about many more. Contrary to what some may believe, there are good deaths. Hildy’s was one. Hildy was the elderly neighbor that my husband, Peter, and I cared for. Her death at age 86 was quite remarkable. She was at home, in her own bed. She had ceased eating and drinking a few days before. Her breathing was not labored but slow, intermittent and shallow. Although she could not talk, we were told she wasn’t in any pain. Her favorite music was playing. The window shades were open to reveal her lovely rose garden. Her friends and neighbors had been by, one by one, to visit and let Hildy know how much she was loved. Her husband, Fred, was not anguished. He held Hildy’s hand lovingly, expressed his devotion and reminisced about the good times during their 60-plus years of marriage. ...