If you haven’t heard about the Life in a Day video project you should take a look at the teaser embedded below. It caught my attention because the interviewee is a man who has confronted death and in doing so has pierced the veil of imagined immortality. He is visibly moved by the care and compassion that the staff show him and it is clear, as he speaks to us from his hospital bed, that he will return to the world “out there” as a changed man.
This is both moving and intriguing because, through him, we glimpse a “fast forward” entry into elderhood. Elders are the same people they were when they were young, they still do “crazy things” but, as decades pass, they increasingly center their lives and their actions in the realm of belonging. All of our “adultish” readers (myself included) should heed this man’s words. Life is about gratitude. It is about the people we love and the people who love us. It is about kindness. It is about being true to ourselves.
Elderhood is rich because it is the time and place where the knowledge of one’s own encroaching mortality enables us to see the world as it is.