When I die, it’d be nice to have someone miss me in that way Pajama Momma writes about.
I come from rather mobile nuclear families for generations. People moving out west, or having small families or both. Most of the people I went to school with actually moved away, though I keep in touch with a few old friends.
A friend’s father died recently, and I was over at her place doing whatever it is you do in that situation. They were of a different culture than the one I grew up in, one that grieves openly and loudly. And it was touching, like PJM’s post, because it was heartfelt.
I’ve seen a lot of deaths where it seemed as though people had worn out their welcome. It’s an awful thing to confront that old age doesn’t bring wisdom, necessarily. I remember when I realized that what old people have in common is only one thing: that they survived.
Between the tragedy of those who die too young, and the more muted tragedy of those who die too old, is some sort of existentialist sweet spot where people miss you without mourning you too much.