Do not go gentle into that good night… Rage, rage against the dying of the light” Dylan Thomas
It goes without saying, funerals are depressing and being that my grandma lived a full life, I wanted to shed light on the situation.
So I shared the story explaining why, in part, I enjoyed my time with her so much. As my Grandma was aging, she was losing her memory as many old people do. And after that run of Grateful Dead concerts from 1992-1995, I seem to have lost a portion of my memory.
So Grandma and I would talk about the same things over and over and over again. Neither of us knew any better, and neither of us cared. What joy.
Several times each month between 2006 and 2009, we’d go to Solley’s Deli on Van Nuys Boulevard in Los Angeles.
“So David, what have you been up to?” she’d ask.
“Been working on a book, trying to live in the moment, sharing the Yoga & Chocolate dream, an event coming up next week in Houston.”
“Wow sounds wahndaful,” she’d say in her East Coast accent while munching on some Solley’s bagel chips.
Then the waiter would come. Grandma would order chopped liver on rye, I’d get the tuna sandwich on wheat, and some of those delicious pickles.
“So David, what you have you been up to?” she’d ask.
“Yoga & Chocolate stuff, an event in Houston, did I tell you I was working on a book?”
“That’s great dear,” she’d say. “Wahndaful.”
The waiter would drop off my Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry soda and Grandma’s iced tea.
“David how are ya? Anything new?” she’d inquire.
As I put the finishing touches on the eulogy at her funeral, I looked at the audience to hopefully see at least a bit of comic relief.
And yes, my mom was laughing, fiancee laughing, brother laughing, friends and family laughing.
But I’ll never forget the look on the rabbi’s face. Something akin to how one would appear while getting fallatio and a colonoscopy…all at once.
Whether caused by my strange story, his untimely gas, a flirtatious glance from a guest in the audience, or all of the above, the rabbi’s look is plastered in my memory like a victim mummified in the ashes of Pompeii.
That would qualify Choules as a supercentenarian (110 or older), one of an estimated 300–450 living supercentenarians in the world, though only about 90 are verified.
Even rarer is a super-super centenarian like Jeanne Calment, who passed in 1997 at the age of 122 years and 164 days, the oldest human ever
(See photo of Calment at her 121st birthday).
Imagine turning 90 and knowing you had another 32 years to go…it could be awfully depressing if your health was bad.
But wouldn’t it be nice to see your children grow old, your grandchildren mature, and your great grandchildren find their place in the world.
Are you interested?
–supercentenarians share a philosophy of the importance of being actively involved with life in a way that defines their purpose in still being on the planet.
–supercentenarians share a central core value of the importance that humor and laughter play in their perspective on life.
–supercentenarians have a unique ability to flow with life in a way that is outside of the cultural tendency to clock off time in a linear fashion.
–supercentenarians almost seem to live life in an “ageless perspective” of themselves. This detachment from a linear lifespan orientation may impact the strength and flow of their energy field in a desirable way that influences their longevity.
I can’t say if my Grandma shared these qualities. She died at 91 and I’d bet her first step past the pearly gates was filled with relief to shed her aging suit and start anew.
But most of you are probably in the early or middle stage of life and can embrace right now the overarching supercentenarian philosophy… which can be summarized in one word: ATTITUDE
They live to the fullest, in spite of their hardships, embracing a joie de vivre.
Clause Chaules swam in the ocean everyday until he was 100**. Jeanne Calment ate almost 2 pounds of chocolate per day.***
What if it was truly that easy? One moment of deep pleasure each day keeps the grim reaper away.
Or even more to the point, as Mark Twain said, “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”