The Fear of Growing Old

Watching as my parents have had to battle the various ailments and illnesses that age brings to them has caused a deep panic within me. The very idea that I will grow old and weak is a notion that strikes a deep chord of fear in my mind – I have thought about it often lately, even before my parents were put into a senior home care in brooklyn ny but now that I visit them there on a daily basis I feel the fear growing stronger. It’s a fear that I feel might threaten my daily living. I don’t want it to but I do not see a way around it! Being surrounded by those whose days are few and whose years are fewer yet is a constant reminder of my own mortality, of how little time I truly do have on this planet and what value my life holds when I pass away. I think that might be the most terrifying thing of all – that when I die, I will be judged by those I leave behind. They will say that I did not live a good life or a fulfilling one, that I did not do anything to change the world or better those around me. Do others have this fear? Are they kept awake at night by the creeping panic of not living a fulfilling life? I do not fear the idea of an afterlife or being judged by something greater than myself but to be judged by my peers is a more powerful and frightening experience, especially if I am left found wanting by them. If I did nothing to impress them or surpass them. Perhaps I am an arrogant and foolish man who is far too vain for his own good – clearly so, if something as trivial as a natural process like death is enough to cause me to lose sleep every night.