Sixty, I read recently, is the "new forty," so I guess that means it's time to start being nervous about one's age when one hits sixty?? I dunno. What I do know is that I become that magic number later this year, and I find myself -- not exactly dwelling on death, but considering it. Making a will, arranging for a plot in my parish cemetery, all that depressing but necessary stuff. I must admit, it was a little startling to receive a card with my plot number and an illustration of where my grave is!! =:0
Oh, and I've written my epitaph. This is not the official obituary, which I'm sure someone will compose either in boring one-liners ("She was born in Brooklyn, NY. She went to school here. She lived there. She was a member of xxx parish," etc.) or hysterically funny purple prose ("On xx/xx/xx, our beloved Meg went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus," etc.). Reading the obits in the local paper is entertaining as well as, um, enlightening.
No, this one is how I want to be remembered:
When I look back on the hopes I've held,
the plans and the dreams that Time has felled....
No one will ever read the book
I wrote, nor give a second look
at art created by my hands,
nor speak in hushed tones of the lands
my strategies and wealth amassed;
and though in pleasure life has passed
with love for friends and family,
all they, like me, will cease to be,
Yet this remains:
The melodies and sweet refrains
of Orthodox Church music, learned
and chanted daily, till it burned
and purified my heart and soul,
refined the gift to shining gold.
So let this sum up all my days:
"She lifted up her voice in praise."