New Yorker Cartoonist Roz Chastâ€™s Remarkable Illustrated Meditation on Aging, Illness, and Death | Brain Pickings
Tina Miller, MA,CFLE stashed this in aging
Making sense of the human journey with wit, wisdom, and disarming vulnerability:
â€śEach day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead,â€ťÂ John Updike wrote inÂ his magnificent memoir.Â â€śSo why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?â€ťÂ Itâ€™s a sentiment somewhat easier to swallow â€” though certainly not without itsÂ ancient challengeÂ â€” when it comes to our own death, but when that of our loved ones skulks around, itâ€™s invariablyÂ devastating and messy, and it catches usÂ painfully unpreparedÂ no matter how much time weâ€™ve had to â€śprepare.â€ť
Count on another belovedÂ New YorkerÂ contributor, cartoonistÂ Roz Chast, to address this delicate and doleful subject with equal parts wit and wisdom inÂ Canâ€™t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A MemoirÂ (public library) â€” a remarkable illustrated chronicle of her parentsâ€™ decline into old age and death, pierced by those profound, strangely uplifting in-between moments of cracking open the little chests of truth we keep latched shut all our lives until a brush withÂ our mortal impermanenceÂ rattles the lock and lets out some understanding, however brief and fragmentary, of the great human mystery of what it means to live.
The humor and humility with which Chast tackles the enormously difficult subject of aging, illness and death is nothing short of a work of genius.
Chast, like myself, was an only child and her parents, like mine, had a hard time understanding how their daughter made her living given she didnâ€™t run in the 9-to-5 hamster wheel of working for the man. There were also the shared family food issues, the childhood loneliness, the discomfort about money that stems from having grown up without it.
The point here, of course, isnâ€™t to dance to the drum of solipsism. (Though we only children seem particularly attuned to its beat.) Itâ€™s to appreciate the elegance and bold vulnerability with which Chast weaves out of her own story a narrative at once so universally human yet so relatable in its kaleidoscope of particularities that any reader is bound to find a piece of him- or herself in it, to laugh and weep with the bittersweet relief of suddenly feeling less alone in the most lonesome-making of human struggles, to find some compassion for even the most tragicomic of our faults.
am i confused...is the tl;dr : old people suck?
No, the tl;dr is that we should not freak out about death because every single one of us dies every day.
Every day we wake up as a different person from the day before. We die every day.
It's in not talking about death that death gains a power over us.
but thinking about it helps, right?
Yes. And talking about it helps even more.Â