I'm no stranger to death and dying. During the height of the AIDS pandemic, I stopped counting the number of people I knew who had died of complications from AIDS at 800.
What registered with me this morning was the phrases people tend to use when making a comment about a person's death. It seems to vary, depending upon the age of the deceased. For example:
Birth to 40 years of age: "What a pity...they were just getting started in life."
40 to 50-ish: "What a pity...they won't get to see their children a) graduate, b) get married, c) have children of their own, etc...
50-ish to 75: "They were so young and won't get to enjoy retirement."
75 - 100+: "They'll be missed, but were so lucky to have had a full life."
All these phrases hold clues to our perception or misperception of where we "should be" at a certain time of life. The ages I've assigned are to make a point but I acknowledge they are arbitrary. Though the age of the deceased may be different, the phraseology isn't.
I'm clueless as to why my conscious mind has picked up on these soundbites of American culture but rather than dwell on it, I'm leaving it here...in this vacuum...where it belongs.