Death, Aging, & House, M.D.


Aging is so interesting. I started (re)watching House, M.D. today. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed the Sherlock of medicine. Pilot episode, and my takeaways from it are wholly different than 15 years ago when I first watched it. Aging changes perspective. And thank gods, right? How utterly dull life would be if it didn’t.

Watching House reminded me of my mum because she loved the show. She died early into season 3 in 2006. I continued to watch thru all 8 seasons, even as it did what long running TV series tend to do, lose its edge. I did it because it made me feel connected to my mum. For years I held a tenuous connection thru a tv show and when it ended there was a finality to my mother’s death that hadn’t been before. Aging is so interesting, yes?

I am 58 years old. I’m far closer to my death than I am to my birth. Like every human each day brings me closer and farther away to those two things. The 2 universals of being human. Forget taxes, they’re hit and miss, but birth and death? Those two are guaranteed.

Aging piles on experiences, adding layers of uniqueness to my perceived self. Closer to death strips that uniqueness away, peeling back my self to the reality that I in fact am not unique. Neither are you. We’re born, we die. All of us. No uniqueness there. Yes, it’s humbling. At times the inevitability of it is somber. More than either of these it allows a freedom that closer to birth doesn’t. Not striving to be ever more unique each year is a relief, a blessing. Aging releases me, us, into just being human in whatever way we define that. The freedom to die like everyone else is oddly comforting. Aging is so very interesting.

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