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Hernán González G.: Learning to die

Hernan Gonzalez G.


One day we wake up with a sensation that seems new or unusual to us. It is not just tiredness after having slept the usual, but discomfort in the joints, numb muscles, some deafness, voice volume not audible to others, curious imbalance, fear of sitting on the toilet. We stumble, bump, and knock over objects with annoying repetition; when we cut our toenails we feel like we are climbing Everest and when we try to open a package or unscrew a cap, there is no shortage of people who tell us that we look like fighters in the ring. Forgetfulness increases and, to top it off, we make mistakes when speaking. Sermons, scolding or jokes, nobody says it clearly because they consider that it is only a lack of attention, a need to be more careful, pay attention to where we are going or, in the best of cases, post-covid sequelae.

The reality is that, whether you are a man or a woman, you have reached old age and you are heading, inevitably, to your date with La Puntual. That is all, but since throughout our lives we have not been able to shed our fuss in the face of death, this situation seems terrible to us. So, the health industry, pharmaceuticals, specialists, doctors, and family members come together to help us combat such a heinous fate. But, do you know someone who has left this world alive? Me neither, so the only thing left for us, seriously, is to learn to grow old, accepting, letting go and trusting, without confusing customs with well-being.

To the ignorance of human beings to reproduce today is added another equal or more serious: the lack of tools to learn to grow old, no longer in the native village or in the small town, but in the neurotic rhythm of the cities, where the interpersonal relationships almost disappear and employment opportunities for the elderly are reduced to a minimum, not to mention the support in terms of health and accompaniment. So, laws, regulations and institutes try, without success, to safeguard the rights of the elderly in the face of a system that goes beyond good intentions.

Thus, this obligatory learning to maintain a certain quality of life –nothing is forever– demands that we open our eyes wide, to follow the path of money of the countless businesses that have arisen around the industry of old age, from this ancestral, conditioned and unhealthy fear of death. We will resume the subject while La Puntual arrives.

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