Death isn’t something to fight in a general sense – it’s going to happen. Individual battles against dying, those are another story.
On Friday last week, Tony Judt died. I’ve only read Ill Fares the Land, though Post-War is not far down on my reading list. Christopher Hitchens is dying. I just turned 40 earlier this summer.
Okay, that last one really isn’t in the same emotional category, but seriously, we all get older every day. A conversation with Susan recently made me wonder if I’ll freak out at my own mortality when it’s close enough to see, the same way I began to wonder shortly before my 40th if that would freak me out at the last minute.
I don’t much care for Hitchens, either his current incarnation on the right or his previous one on the left, but he’s always interesting to read if you can get past the Oscar Wilde-ean weary self-importance. His eloquence and thoughtfulness is particularly strong on the very non-political topic of his own death, which I’m thinking about because of a post from Roger Ebert, himself extraordinarily, fragile-ly mortal these days.