Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Sad Senior Tale

I recently received this email message from my brother:

"They were a couple alone, estranged from their only child, and in rapidly declining health. Everyone that knew them marveled at their mutual love; after more than 50 years of marriage their deep affection and mutual respect was obvious to all. Early this morning the lady shot her husband, called the police, and before they could arrive, shot herself.

"Murder or mercy killing, no matter; these two elderly people were apparently discarded by society and left to deal with their pain as they could. This happened in a small town here in Southern Utah and I find it unimaginably sad.

"Yes, sometimes it helps to write things down as you are wont to advocate."

I assume that this "downer" message is my brother's way of expressing his compassion and his feelings about growing old; he, too, lives alone, and as we've aged, we've communicated much more.

I don't know what conclusions to draw from this awful murder-suicide. I haven't checked for further details yet. Was the couple too proud to ask for help? Was no help available? Did they fail to prepare for the inevitable decline of old age? What were their circumstances, and what were their choices, if any?

I agree with my brother that the situation is unimaginably sad.


Anonymous said...

Of course I have no idea what their motivation was but I know there are people who would rather end their lives this way (hopefully with less violence)than be separated by death or endure long and hopeless endings to their lives. People do make pacts, with and without close kin.

seniorwriter said...

Yes. We too often seem to believe that everything can be "fixed," by the government or someone else. That just isn't so.

Magnolia said...

Dear Marlys,

I just ordered your book, "Reinventing Myself". I am going to be 51 this month. I have spent my life trying to live for others and consequently, never knew who I was.

I just started my own blog for the purpose of writing essays on middle age. You have done something I always wanted to do.....be a college professor of English.

You are also doing something that I've always wanted to do.....be a writer.

I am stepping out into this new and very scary territory of writing and developing the dream I've always wanted. I may or may not go back to school to get an English degree (I majored in Accounting instead)but I feel I will be inspired by your story.

I have a feeling there is much I can learn from you.

seniorwriter said...

Hello, Magnolia. You're at a good age to explore yourself. I began quite a bit later in life. Follow your dreams. I hope you're also aware of my other book, "Seniorwriting," and my other blog, "Write your Life!" Happy writing.

Magnolia said...

Thanks Marlys,

I will check out your other blogs as well. Thank you for the encouragement and the example. You are very inspiring.