On 24/01/2018 12:24, Penny wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Jan 2018 11:58:56 +0000, "J. P. Gilliver (John)"
> <G6JPGfirstname.lastname@example.org> scrawled in the dust...
>>>> to see her again. My father*, only in his 80s at the time (he died aged
>>>> 94), when invited to d#2's wedding said, "I might be dead by then.". I've
>>>> heard of other elderly chaps doing similar.
>>> My mother says it every time I phone to let her know I'll be visiting
>>> on Thursday (or whatever). However, this is the very least of her
>>> many, many annoying habits.
>> Serious suggestions on how to discourage the habit? (I don't have any
>> such relations left, and the only person I can think of among my
>> friends, who was 80 earlier this month, is so full of beans that I
>> forget her age whenever I see her - she's a tiny bundle of energy. I
>> bought her a bird-box with camera [Lidl!], which she seemed delighted
>> with; she loves watching the birds.) If the "if I'm spared" _is_ done in
>> a jocular manner, you could take to replying something similarly jocular
>> about the will - but that could backfire badly.
> I'm not sure any sort of 'jocular' manner would make it any less
> shocking/upsetting to a much younger person.
I have known a couple elderly people who have used the expression as a
kind of moral blackmail, which was quite in keeping with their rather
selfish personalities. I grew up with parents who had both survived
massive health challenges during WW2, constantly marvelled at their
survival (and my existence) and often discussed their ptential demise in
a very practical way. Their experiences seemed to engender a strong
tendency to black humour. Mum in her eighties would often say "I'm
really only sticking around until..(whatever event she was looking
forward to)" and would then follow this with some quip connected to the
idea of kicking the bucket.
After a preponderance of recent funerals, I now feel a need to address
the practicalities around my own death. Our children were a little
surprised when I announced that we needed to have a family meeting for
the death conversation but they now think it's quite entertaining and
are eagerly anticipating what they call the Death Summit which seems to
have taken on the guise of something like the WEF in Davos - they have
asked about keynote speakers and catering...
Shortly after the distressing experience of our cat's death, Son-in-Law
made me laugh by reassuring me that when my time came he would be quite
willing to take me to the vet.
In fact I've just remembered a
> close friend, only 20 years my senior, who managed to upset me, or at least
> stop conversation in its tracks every time he referred to his own
> 'expected' death. He wasn't in the best of health but lived for about 15
> years after he first mentioned it and we did have a sensible conversation
> (he had vascular dementia) a couple of months before he died.
> I suppose the come back 'we can but hope' might shock the elderly person
> out of it.
I think that's rather funny: my parents would have greatly appreciated
such a comment.
Laura (emulate St George for email)