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Ask Virginia! A problem shared, is a problem solved

Blog | May 16, 2024

Make friends with death

I’m in my eighties and I’ve got quite a few things wrong with me, including chest and breathing problems. Recently my daughter came over to see me and it turned out she had a raging cough.

I felt so upset. In my situation, I’m very vulnerable to infections. True, she didn’t kiss me hello and she kept her distance, but it’s still risky, isn’t it?

I don’t want to die!

S Buckhurst, by email


Your daughter should certainly have told you what the situation was before she came to visit. And she should have left it up to you to decide whether you were prepared to take the risk or not.

But when you say you ‘don’t want to die’ – well, that may be true, but the truth is that we’ll all die some day. I think what you mean is that you don’t want to die now. A very different thing.

Perhaps you should try, if you can, to start feeling more comfortable with the idea of death. Whether you like it or not, at your (and my) age, isn’t it time to make friends with death, rather than treat it as an arch-enemy?

Please email me your problems at problempage@theoldie.co.uk; I will answer every email – and let me know if you’d like your dilemma to be confidential.