The brief obituary would end simply with “Frank was 86”.  Or perhaps, “Frank was 91 when he passed away”.  Or, most unlikely, “Frank’s full life ended at the remarkable age of 101”.

I’m not even certain I have ten years left, let alone twenty-five.  But I will live them to the full.  Books, movies, lives all have an ending.  I’m in no hurry to end mine.  I just hope that I won’t be a pain in the neck (anymore than usual) for my loved ones, and an embarrassment to myself.  However I have lived my life, I hope, as the coded cliché puts it, that I will die with dignity.  And that at least some people will appreciate the efforts of my twilight years to share my vision of the chance that is life and its natural conclusion which is death, both without the nonsense of the ravings, rituals and rules of religion.  (Redemptorist preachers used to try to scare us by telling us that today may be the last day of our lives.  Some readers of this blog may suspect from the above that this posting will be my last.  I wouldn’t count on it if I were you.)