An Honest Look at Old Age

In a way, this article seems unnecessary. We all know what old age is and what it looks like, don’t we? It’s all around us, everyday. 
 
But, in another way, this article actually seems quite necessary. Because, society as a whole basically turns a blind eye to the true condition of those who are “aged.”
 
For example, very few people enjoy visiting a nursing home. It’s unpleasant to see people suffering, especially when we know that we ourselves are surely headed to the same place. We’d rather not be faced with it. We’d rather not think about it.
 
So, it’s time for an honest look. People just like you and me, falling prey to the ravages of aging, gradually lose everything. They once lived vibrant, healthy lives, but now they struggle just to perform basic tasks. 
 
“These are supposed to be the golden years!” a dear lady once said to me, as she told me about her and her husband’s many ailments. “The golden years” are instead often years filled with trips to the doctor, medications, prolonged illnesses, and surgeries performed on already weakened bodies. 
 
People who once lived lives full of love and laughter now face an immense season of loss–  loss of health and home, loss of treasured possessions, loss of mobility, loss of siblings, loss of their own aging children, loss of memory, loss of spouse.
 
I’m a Christian, and I’m aware of some thoughts probably going through Christians’ minds as they read this. One thought might be, “We should rejoice that the elderly are getting so close to heaven!” But we must ask ourselves, if old age is cause for rejoicing, why then do we take older folks to the doctor? Why do we pray for God to intervene in their health, and for their doctors to have wisdom? Why do older folks take treatments for their many ailments? Why do we all rejoice when new treatments become available?
 
I think it’s because we know that old age is a terrible form of suffering, and Christians throughout the millennia have routinely worked to relieve suffering and sustain life. We follow the Savior who is the Life, and not just spiritual life either. Without negating the tremendous importance of spiritual life, let’s not forget that Jesus rose from the grave and conquered physical death with physical life.
 
One person shared with me about her mother who was nearing the end of her life. Her mother was causing quite a fuss about her bedsheets and comforter, wanting them to be exactly to her specifications. The daughter remarked, “This is one of the few decisions she can still make for herself.” 
 
Those of us still happily making plenty of decisions for ourselves should put ourselves in her shoes. We must have a heart of compassion for these dear people, and I know we do. We feel the heartbreak and we do everything we can to help. And when we’ve done everything humanly possible, we continue to pray. 
 
If there is anything we can do to improve the quality of life for an older person, our conscience dictates that we should do it. I think many people, if not most, would agree that If there is anything we can do to prevent the ravages of aging in a person’s body, we should do it. 
 
Therefore, we must determine whether informing people about Dr. Aardsma’s Anti-Aging Vitamins is now part of the “anything” we can do. For me, I can’t get around the fact that it is, both for the elderly and for the rest of us who are not there yet. 
 
We must stop pretending that “old age” is somehow a good thing. It is a form of suffering that leads to inevitable death. Suffering is not inherently good. Death is not good. Let’s do our part, in our day, to relieve suffering and sustain life, even if/when “our part” takes us to new and unfamiliar territory.

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