Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Getting Up There

"You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." Have you ever heard this quote by George Burns? I'm at the stage of my life where it seems many are dying; the pandemic has only compounded this. If they're not dying, many friends now have ailments that appear randomly. Stiffness in the joints, random pain in your foot or elbow, a nodule on your skin. My friend calls this old people s!@#!

Getting old will take a toll on the body. Apparently, aging, in and of itself, is not a cause of death. When most of us say that someone died of old age, what we really mean is that someone died as a result of an illness (like pneumonia) or as a result of an event (like a heart attack) that a healthy, stronger, younger person would likely have survived. 

Queen Elizabeth's recent cause of death was listed as old age. Dying of old age is vague as it doesn't provide a true cause of death. For those remaining, the cause provides something to hold on to and may even provide closure.

I don't know why some's lot in life is to be old with vigor, and some just seem to shrivel up and die (forgive the harshness of the words). I'm watching someone who was seemingly healthy five to six years ago and is in the shrivel-up stage. His muscles have atrophied, and he is bedridden. He is frail. He is weak. He barely eats, but he is still here, and I struggle with this because there is no illness.

Seeing this up close has left me speechless. I don't receive comfort from anywhere though I know I should. I'm told how I should feel, but the reality of how I feel is indescribable.

I garden. When a plant reaches this stage where its no longer thriving and its roots appear to have died, after being hopeful for many months, I eventually toss it. I know we can't toss humans, but my God, it's hard to see a person who was once so vital barely living even if he seems comfortable.

Beth Hart, the musician says this: "I guess it's about getting older. I know that I'm going to lose people that I love - I'm going to die myself - so everything seems to be getting somehow sweet and more important and more special and more humbling and more challenging and more terrifying all at the same time."

So this is where I get theological. What do I hope for? What do I hold on to? I know one thing - I can take all these thoughts to Someone who knows how to handle them and share a little bit with you here.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Getting up there surely gives us another view of life. It's not always clear, but eventually, it will all make sense.


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  1. I love how you said that you can take your concerns to Someone who knows how to handle them. Always good advice. Getting older isn't for the faint of heart as they say.

  2. My husband says that aging and all that goes with it is part of God's grace. It should cause us to contemplate eternity more and more.

  3. Nylse, I appreciate your transparency and honesty. Pausing to reflect upon your words here.
    Thank you for linking up with Sweet Tea & Friends this month my friend.

  4. I think Queen Elizabeth probably had "an event" of some sort but they decided to say old age because they didn't want the focus to be on how she died. Thought provoking post as always, thanks for linking!

  5. I think we should embrace our advancement in years-it is such a gift many don't receive.

  6. As time passes us on sometime the shrivel is cause and affect. For example you say you are watching someone, if it is a father what was/or was there a cause? Was there any way you could have intervened to have an affect? I hope your struggle and discomfort doesn’t come from you feeling you didn’t do enough. If that’s the case prayer will comfort you.

  7. Well said, Nylse. It's hard to watch the accelerating decline of those we love and ourselves. Liked the quote: "so everything seems to be getting somehow sweet and more important and more special and more humbling and more challenging and more terrifying all at the same time."

  8. I can truly relate. I am currently caring for my Dad. Each day I watch the true essence of him fade away. I to struggle with my feeling surrounding his decline. Some days I'm mad other day just very sad. Happiness does slip in but not as often as I'd like. It I not easy to watch the aging process up close. My Dad has ailments such as glaucoma, diabetes, and vascular dementia. What keeps me is prayer. I am learning with God's help to appreciate each and every moment I have. Because all of this can change in an instant. I'll leave you with my Dad's favorite saying. I prefer aging, it sure beats the alternative. Thanks for sharing.🖤

  9. Nylse, it is most difficult to watch a loved one decline. I'm grateful we have Someone to bring all our thoughts and emotions, for He surely is our help and stay. Praying you persevere in the days ahead as you keep reminding yourself, "It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus."


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