Active as we are, and agents of change as we have been, will we live forever? Obviously not, but the end might come as a surprise. That’s what Sandra Lee Scott writes about in this adaptation of an excerpt from her new book, Bloomin’ Boomers: Pop Culture Legacy of the Vanguard Baby Boomers.
Everybody has got to die, but I have always believed an exception would be made in my case. Now what? ~ William Saroyan, (five days before his death)
We all die. Even those of us who have forever led the active lifestyles for which our baby boomer generation is known.
For some boomers who are featured in the book Bloomin’ Boomers, there already is a second date after “the dash;” for example, Ron Silver, 2 July 1946 – 15 March 2009. As with any slice of the general population, the deceased Bloomers have died in a variety of ways—accidents, disease, murder, even execution, with cancer claiming the most. Other Bloomers have come face-to-face with death while battling life-threatening illnesses, or surviving plane crashes or, thanks to one of the defining periods of our lives, the jungles of Vietnam. All of us have grieved the loss of a loved one, and while doing so have been reminded of our own mortality. There comes a time when we finally grasp that our years on earth are limited. Hopefully at some point, the fear of death recedes as we accept its inevitability. But fear of the other “D” words— disease, decrepitude, dementia—can make us tremble in our boots.
The faces you see on both the front and back covers of the book have one thing in common: they are all Bloomin’ Boomers, all in fact in the “leading edge” of the boomer generation, born in 1946. Perspectives on mortality from a few of them:
Patty Duke — “I guess we have to be good at denial or we’d be running around twenty-four hours a day screaming, ‘I’m going to die. I’m going to die.’”
Gilda Radner — “It is so hard for us little human beings to accept this deal that we get. It’s really crazy, isn’t it? We get to live; then we have to die. What we put into every moment is all we have.”
Dolly Parton — “I hope to die right in the middle of a song and right on the stage doing what I love to do. I hope to be about 120 when that happens.”
Bill Clinton — “I had always been aware of, and not all that uncomfortable with, my own mortality. Probably because my father had died before I was born, I started thinking about death at an early age.”
Diane Keaton — “I think about dying every single day. I’ve lost lots of friends, and they die in the most bizarre ways. It’s like, ‘That can’t possibly be! How could that have happened?’ And all I can think is, ‘That could have been me.’”
Jimmy Buffett — “You know Death will get you in the end, but if you are smart and have a sense of humor, you can thumb your nose at it for a while.”
I already quoted William Saroyan; now a quote from another ageless philosopher named Woody Allen: Nobody gets out of this life alive!
Connect with Sandra online at http://bloominboomers.com/[Editor’s note: Sandee shared this photo of when she cooled off in a northern Arizona natural water slide north of Sedona. Life is for having fun. Thanks, Sandee!]