Every Saturday night at around 9:30 I hear a crash outside my front door. It is my Sunday edition of the New York Times. Perhaps because of the holidays it was not there last night. This meant I had to read something else last night. But on the positive side it meant I could read my paper this morning with my breakfast in bed.
I did not get to far into the newspaper as I always start with the Book Review. There was an essay You’re Going to Die / By Alexander Nazaryan. Below the heading was this: Fifty years on ‘Denial of Death,’ by Earnest Becker, remains a surprisingly upbeat guide to our final act.
I read it and I was amazed how much in the essay reflects my thoughts these days that I am now 81. There was a bonus as the Springfield, Massachusetts Pulitzer Prize winning author died March 6, 1974 in Burnaby, BC. He had been teaching at Simon Fraser University.
As a paid subscriber to the NY Times I have the privilege of giving away 10 no-pay-wall articles per month. I have discovered that I can put that link and all the people who read my blog will have access.
As I reflect on my statistically soon death I worry and reflect that my 10-year old male cat Niño (he has a sister Niña) has cancer of the intestines. In three months he has returned to his old self as I give him a human cancer pill every other day. I worry about dying before he does and I don’t know who would take care of him and sister.
I don’t like to assert my religious views here but I will still point out that when my Rosemary was dying we both believed we would never sea each other again.
I found some comfort in reading the NYTimes essay and I will see if Don Stewart at Macleod Books has a copy of Denial of Death.
I am writing this on the last 10 minutes of 2023. I combined my scanner portrait with that of my now departed Vancouver Sun columnist Paul St. Pierre who had a happy approach to death. He said that death was the cure to all diseases.
The significance of my portrait is the book by the Argentine novelist Ernesto Sábato (he was a nuclear physicist before he started writing. Antes del Fin (Before the End) was a series of autobiographical essays that he thought he needed to write as he was 83. He did not know that he would die on his 99th.