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We Grow Old

"An Old Man and his Grandson" by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Louvre Now before anyone panics at the subject matter of my previous piece and this one, do not fear. I am not anticipating my imminent demise (although I am no less aware of my mortality than someone of my age and ailments should be), but I am reflecting on how we should respond to our twilight years. I do this both in the light of a series of funerals that I have recently conducted or attended at which the poems cannibalised here were read by me or others, and the attitude of some of my elders recently. Some are a joy to be in the presence of despite the challenges they face, sharing their insights, experience and encouragement with grace and humility (some in a way they didn't when they were younger), and others who are less of a joy to encounter. There are usually multiple reasons for this, and I hope I do not respond to them any less graciously than I do to others. But I equally hope that I do not behave
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