Madam – May I compliment and complement the Life articles (Sunday Independent, January 6, 2013), in which Brendan O'Connor and 12 youngish ageing writers set out to discuss mortality and growing up? They did so with admirable honesty and subtle humour.
Though mortality – meaning death – was obviously not far from their thoughts, only 44-year-old Barry Egan referred to it explicitly: "I only hope that when it comes it is not something terribly drawn-out dignity-robbing, like my Dad in his hospice bed."
The main focus of all the writers was on an acceptance of the sensible thinking that growing up has evoked in them. Nervous shying-away from what may precede and follow death is particularly prevalent among people at their life stage.
A sensible focus on helping selves and others to have healthy minds and bodies goes a long way towards making life pleasant all the way to death. If every bit of so helping shortens the lengths of the purgatories that may follow death, that possibility presents quite an additional incentive for having and maintaining that focus.
In short, I suggest that such a sensible focus could have let the writers dispense with nervous shying-away as they contemplated their mortalities.
Joseph F Foyle,
Ranelagh, Dublin 6