A life worth living
A few weeks ago now I heard a news story that has been weighing on my mind ever since. Something that I can’t really get my head around. I was going to write about it before but I couldn’t….I still can’t….really understand the meaning and the implications.
The Department for Work and Pensions, based on the Office of National Statistics data, has suggested that the number of people reaching 100 is ever-increasing, to the point that 1 in 5 people could become a centenarian. The initial instinct is to feel positive….I mean that is good right? We are all more likely to live longer….and none of us really want to die.
But this is where I get stuck. Is it good?
I just don’t think so.
A little while ago I was talking about grand parents with my kids, the boy told me that his best mate had never met one of his. Apparently she was too “confused”.
I had two wonderful and lovely grandmothers. Both were different, both were kind and both were loved by me from the bottom of my heart. One lived a long and relatively healthy life before dying in her 90s. The other…..well sadly…..very sadly she too became “confused”. Like many, many people she developed dementia.
To this day I feel the guilt about not being “able” to go and see her in the later stages of her….illness? disease? deterioration? The fact is, the fact was that she was with us, but she was no longer with us.
But once again and as is my way, I digress. The thing that I don’t understand is this, is living longer….is living to 100 a good thing? If we accept the dream about us being fit and healthy until the day we die then ok but what about:
- The pressures on the health service
- The costs to tax payers
- The impact on families and friends
Do we want people to live forever? Do we understand the implications for us socially, economically and emotionally?
And when…when does a life become………not worth living?