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A Piece of My Mind
December 27, 2000

From Rites of Passage to Last Rights

Author Affiliations
 

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(24):3100-3102. doi:10.1001/jama.284.24.3100

Like everyone else who has lived a long time, I have come to the sad conclusion that at last I have become obsolete. It has finally occurred to me that no longer am I needed the same way I was once needed by my family, friends, and colleagues. My advice and counsel are neither sought nor wanted even when proffered gratuitously. (Especially not when offered gratuitously!) I find I have become of another age and time. I am now anachronistic. My financial offerings to kith and kin still are graciously accepted, but such help is neither sought as often nor is as needed as it once was. My wife and I are still loved and tolerantly accepted and given the respect due us for our many past services—for our years of love and devotion and care—but it has become quite obvious our time has passed. Then we started noticing a more distressing fact: our days now not only are beginning to run together, but each day tends to be much like the one before. We understand full well what is happening and we don't like it. We gradually realize we are running out of new and exciting tomorrows. We know that sooner or later all of our tomorrows will be gone and only our yesterdays will be left for us to remember. We know it all too well. We've seen it happen before.

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