Just Put Me in the Wheelbarrow
by Diane Girard*
I live in an older area of my city and there are a lot of seniors in my neighbourhood. Somehow, marketers know this. I get junk mail from funeral homes, burial insurance companies, cemeteries, drug plans, and retrofit companies; and that’s only the beginning of the assaults on my pocketbook and my nerves.
I don’t have a television but when I watch Sunday morning programming at my friend’s home, I learn that there are new medications for the many illnesses the ads imply I might have now, or will soon acquire. Drug companies are required to list possible side effects and I’m amazed by the announcer’s ability to blandly say, “In rare cases, death may occur,” as if demise from use of the drug is, well, just a minor side effect.
And then there are the ads for reverse mortgages, presumably so that one can afford a yacht, that one being the financial advisor holding all the mortgages. I’m also annoyed by the ads for more life insurance to leave something for your children, no medical exam required. Apparently, all seniors are decrepit, gullible, and about to expire, but not before responding to the commercials.
Unlike the members of a certain famous rock group who think they are young rebels but look like the permanently undead; I don’t believe that seventy-something is the new forty. At age sixty-nine, I know that I’m almost seventy. My body knows it too and it reminds me every morning. When it complains, I know for sure that I’m still in this world. However, I won’t always be here and those dread-filled ads keep reminding me of that.
So, how to deal with the facts of death?
Illustration for Wikipedia of types of medieval wheelbarrows
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