What is Aging?

d9e47641-736c-4e46-b2bf-747682ecf182-1Today would’ve been my mother’s birthday. These were some of her favorite photos of her younger self. She’d be turning another year. “Well at least I don’t have wrinkles!”, she’d say as she said last year and every year before that. I’d roll my eyes and grumble, “Bravo. Your creams worked.” I’ve been thinking a lot about the subtle disdain for the term “anti-aging” lately. How the judgemental corners of the lips raise as a friend mentions trying fillers. How the laughter roars at Mr. Jones for trying Botox or seeing an old woman with no greys and way too much Sculptra in her cheeks. Oh and those celebrities with the obvious facelifts. Oh mylanta. “Hand rejuvenation is a thing?! What’s wrong with the world!”, people cry. Nowadays it’s considered noble to “age gracefully” and embarrassing to be caught trying to fight the clock.

But we forget that aging is more than looking old. Aging is disease. Aging is organ failure. Aging is losing the ability to fight death the way our young cells fight it every day. “You’re only as old as you feel!” Take the best of care of yourself to maximize health and mobility, but genetics win every. single. time.

The news talks about human life getting longer thanks to better diet and medicine. And how millennials aren’t having enough babies to rejuvenate the economy once we age and vaporize social security. But what if not adding to the population isn’t the problem? What if living longer isn’t the problem? What if aging is the problem?

My mom lived with one kidney for most of my life until her second gave out and she lived her last year on dialysis, dying a painful and sudden death. I wanted her to live to be 102. But like she said, (unknowingly) the morning before she passed when she was having trouble opening her walker, “This isn’t living. This is dying.” I live for the day we no longer age. And I live for the day we happily choose when to die.

~ by Keira Dazi on September 12, 2019.

One Response to “What is Aging?”

  1. Thanks for this touching and heartbreaking entry Keira. It is nice to see photos of your mom. Your musings on aging being a disease reminds me of a theme in the movie “The Fountain”. A doctor in the pic saw death as a disease. I highly recommend it, one of my all-time favorite movies. The title refers to the fountain of youth. I love your website and your Flickr photos. Steve Scharmer

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