This was a terrible year. Very curious about the next one.
A lot of famous people died this year. Like old newspapers, I write obituaries ahead of time. If somebody dies I have most of it ready. If I know them, I usually ask them how they want to be remembered. They are usually a lot nicer to me when they realize they are not going to be around forever. Of course, with modern technology you can keep popping up like Hari Seldon in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation.
This year we are seeing inevitable actuarial demographics. Many of the celebrities were born after WWII. If the average life expectancy is 70, probably half of them are already dead. Not surprisingly, Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin and Jimi Hendrix all died in their twenties. Michael Jackson died at 50. George Michael was 53. Prince died at 57. Carrie Fisher was 60. David Bowie was 69. Ever the optimist, Mick Jagger just fathered a child at the age of 73. I do not know if he has any sympathy for the devil but he clearly has some sort of arrangement. Leonard Cohen was 82 although he was so depressed it felt longer. Debbie Reynolds was 84. The good news is that their artwork survives. You can hear their music or watch their video any time you want.
These were successful professionals with access to healthcare and they still died. Famous or not, you can quit smoking or drinking, eat all your vegetables and meditate all day and you are still going to die. Some of it is hereditary. How old were your parents when they died? What was their cause of death? If you are a GenXer born around 50 years ago and your parents died in their mid 60s, plan ahead. If your grandparents are still alive, you have to plan way ahead. One thing to do is to make sure there are rock solid guaranteed government support for everyone. Expand and enhance Social Security and Medicare. Honor the dead by improving the lives of others. If you cannot take it with you, leave something wonderful.
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