Living LIFE

caaaake!

caaaake!

We’re usually pretty lighthearted here on the Posse and I’m glad of it – the world sucks enough without us adding our mite to it.  But sometimes Life intervenes and we have to discuss Other Things.  Poor Tom is facing a situation right now that befalls us all at some time or another – the sudden death of a beloved friend.  Which is why ’tis I, Musette, back here to torment you.  Can/may we talk about this for a minute?  Death is one of those bizarre conundrums – in fact it is THE bizarre conundrum.  Few of us (in the West, anyway) really like to discuss it – yet it is one of those things we cannot get out of.  I used to be wary as hell about it – it only happened to Old People (in my fortunate life, anyway).  And then.  Blammo!  I got Old, meself.   And suddenly it was happening all around me.  Not daily, of course, but.  It Happens. Sometimes it gives you fair warning (as in the case of my sister’s passing) and sometimes it falls out of the sky and slaps you with its razor-wings, as happened to Tom.  Either way, it hurts.    And as I am fortunate to get older I am sure it will happen a whole lot more – until it happens to me.  Then I’m out of the game and y’all can continue this conversation without my sassy self – and that will be fine.  What I’ve noticed, though, is that as I continue to age I fear death a whole lot less – like most sentient beings what I do fear is pain or a real diminution of ‘self’.  But we are not going there today – we are going to talk about the ubiquitous Bucket List and/or Ways to Go – as in What would you like to be doing.  Awhile back a friend said he would like to die having just sunk a birdie (what the hell is a birdie) on the golf course in Florida – and damned if he didn’t do just that!  Not the birdie but he dropped stone-dead on some hole at his golf course in Florida!  My goal for my dad was that he pop off, having just won big at the craps table – that didn’t happen but he had a quiet, peaceful passing, having had his favorite meal of frog legs just a few days before the giant stroke that felled him.

I think what most of us want is not to feel remorse at having lived an unfulfilled life.  When I was in my 20s – heck, probably through my late 40s – my idea of a fulfilled life was largely materialistic – I looked upon my sizeable house, my flash car, my trips….and I saw myself as fulfilled.  Ha.  There was so much angst, emptiness and anxiety attached to that but I was too young to realize it.  Part of it was this desperation to LIVE.  But what did that mean?

Recently Patty, March and I were passing Cheyenne Mountain/NORAD and I remarked ‘hell – come Armageddon you are definitely going in a flash.  March said ‘I’m in DC.  I’m gone in a flash, too’.  They both turned and looked at me with pity and said ‘you poor thing’ (cause I live at the back of beyond).  I was all ‘nooooo!  I wanna go in a flash! just having eaten the world’s most perfect chocolate cake, at Graff, while trying on the most perfect emerald-cut diamonds in existence!!!’  ‘Sorry, Charlie.  You gets to stay’. ‘nooooooo!  I don’t want to fight Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a Nuclear Winter.  Noooooo!’.

I can’t imagine thinking that when I was 20.

Anyhoo, this isn’t meant to be a downer post – I just wanted to reflect on what it means to me now.  And what I want to leave behind as my legacy.  And what I want to do before I leave my legacy behind.  I thought it would be that whole ‘fame/fortune’ thing – but you know what?  It seems to me that the people who really impact us the most do mostly everyday acts of fabulousness! like…giving us a smile, listening to us yammer on when we are scared to death and scared to death to show it (but they know – and so they let us yammer on).  That guy you see who always helps that old lady cross the street.  Your 5th grade teacher.  Your kid’s 5th grade teacher.  The woman down the road who welcomed you to a new (and somewhat closed) place.  The person who lets you really breathe.   I want to be That Person.

omg.  this really is a downer post, innit?  Well, let’s lift it up a bit  – I wanna eat DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE, right before I pop off, okay?  I think I want to be in Amouage Gold or vinty No5, Alde-ho that I am.  I want it to be early Summer and I want to see my lilies bloom, if that’s okay.  I would like to be old and in good health.   Diamonds would be a plus (because Sparkle) but not a necessity.  Alone or with loved ones – either way is fine with me.  But not at the grocery store, okay?  The floors always skeeve me out (something about the high-gloss varnish on old lino) and I just know there are bugs under those shelves.

 

But I WANT THAT CAKE!

(I think I should go bake now, don’t you?  I’ve been on about that cake for the past 4 days!)

Y’all don’t have to talk about Death.  Just lmk what’s on your mind!  I’ll send a few folks a li’l sumpin-sumpin’.  The armoire is still full!  And messy!

 

xoxoxoxoA  – and don’t forget to tell folks you love them – and let yourselves be loved, too.  You are certainly loved by me!

  • Amateur Dilettante says:

    Thank you for this post – I’ve read it and the comments a few times, and have had to think about what I’d want. My brain just doesnt want to acknowledge that this will happen. There’s so much to do and see! But yeah, I’d like to go quickly, doing something fun, or in my sleep.
    My mother in law died from cancer 3 years ago, at the ripe old age of 57, and that was so, so hard for everyone. She was the life of the party, and I mean that in all of the best ways. I’m not in the camp that “having time to say goodbye” helps – there was still so much unfinished because she became so disabled in the last year. A hard lesson – the right time is now, not later.
    Fragrance – maybe O’Hira, which I haven’t ordered a sample if because I’m too afraid I will fall in love with Something that unaffordable. But fear is no way to meet death, and is no way to live, either.

  • RoseMacaroon says:

    First-time poster, long time fan of this site and everyone on it – every last thought and feeling on this thread is so exquisitely beautiful to me. I don’t think my posts will generally be so hyperbolic, it’s just a very heavy duty topic in my world (lots of deceased friends and close family including siblings by mid-20s, subsequently studying /practicing healing arts). I also found it so touchingly sweet that it was feared too downer of a topic, and then everyone posted the most uplifting things covering the entire spectrum from wryly comic to profoundly of the essence. I want to keel over in the middle of doing anything that I love, whether dancing, writing awful poetry, meditating, or dreaming, and all the mentioned frags sound like superfine choices (really must try the Geishas one day!!! Oh, yes.) – atm I’d love to be wearing velvet and sweetpea’s Rose Encens, which was the most outrageously pleasurable mixture of juicy citrus, deeply serene incense, and really fresh, pretty, love-vibe-pumping roses. I’m having a mad fling with that one.

  • HeidiC says:

    Much love to Tom — be gentle with yourself.

    I’m trying to pursue the what-ifs right now instead of living with regret later. After many years of supporting the family, we now have the extreme good fortune to allow me time to pursue my writing full time for a year — it’s been a dream of mine to be able to give it all I’ve got and pump out as much work as possible in that year. And who knows? If I do well, it may lead to bigger things.

    When I go out, I want to be surrounded by books (think cozy cottage and not hoarder stacks) in a comfy chair, doused in Mitsouko or Chypre de Coty, having slipped away while reading or writing. Either that, or I hope that my whole family is snuffed out simultaneously so no one has to grieve each other.

  • Tom says:

    Thank you all so much for the kind thoughts. I’ve been going to some of our hangouts and telling the staff what happened. They all had such nice things to say about my friend and how much they enjoyed our patronage over the last nearly 30 years.

    Musette, I also bought the biggest chocolate cupcake I could find. With vanilla coconut frosting, and yes, I will do it again. Maybe even tomorrow..

    • Musette says:

      Tom, that makes me so happy (except for the coconut – but I’mo give you that one, okay?). And I’m so glad to know you are allowing yourself to grieve and to share that grief with us and with others. Over our lives, there’s been a change in how people allow non-family to grieve – and I’m so happy to see that change. In the past friends and co-workers have been relegated to the back of the Grief Bus, which was weird because, in a whole lot of instances, those people formed the bulk of a person’s daily existence! To be given ‘permission’ to truly grieve the loss of a friend is a great solace. Be kind to yourself. And yes – eat that cupcake!!!

      xoxoxoxoA

  • Tena says:

    My Mom passed suddenly in 2010. As I was packing her things, I found bottles of perfume and jewelry that I had gifted her still in their shrink wrapping. She loved them, but was saving them “for good”. She died, never having enjoyed the things she loved and owned.

    Since then, I have used the crap out of everything I own. Light the candles, open the wine, spray the perfume. Those who pack up your belongings will be very happy to see you enjoyed them.

    • rickyrebarco says:

      So true, Tena. I bought my Mom some beautiful clothes and she hardly wore them either, only on special occasions. I thought the very same thing when my Mom died and I cleaned out her closet. I know she loved the clothes, but she hardly wore them. After almost dying with cancer 20 years ago, I live life! I use things, I wear all the perfumes. The most expensive ones I use the most. I wear the ‘nice’ clothes. I eat the cheap food and the expensive food. If I want to travel somewhere, I go. Life is short- do it all!!!

  • Claudia S says:

    I put the moon and sun but it didn’t go through….

    • Musette says:

      Claudia, this makes my heart happy, to know we Posse matter so much – this is a great group, isn’t it? I am where you are – living Life but knowing that plans need to be made. And that’s okay – I look at my granddaughter and realize that at some point I have to get off the planet, so there’s room for HER granddaughters. And I am just fine with that. <3

      xoxoxoA

  • Claudia S says:

    I’ve loved reading these stories today, since early this morning. I wake up at 6:30, reach for my phone on my nightstand, and look forward to my Perfume Posse. I’m 60, already lost my parents, now thinking about taking care about me and my husband. I don’t want to go into it all, but thank you, thank you to all who shared their thoughts today. I have so much in common with you…I’m grateful you’re here with me and us?…?

  • Christine says:

    I hope however it is that I go that it’s pain free. And all the better if I’m old and happy. I have two little ones and I’d like to see them established.

    Today we closed on the house that I think we will live in for a long time and we bought it from a 94 year old man who lived there 69 and a half years. I wanted to tell him to take his big check and go on the trip of a lifetime, but his daughter was there with him and I think she wouldn’t approve. When we told him that he was welcome anytime I meant it. I also meant it when I told him that he was on babysitting duty if and when it happened.

    Regards to Tom, it’s always harder being left behind, I think. <3

  • Queen Cupcake says:

    I loved reading this one, and all of the comments, too. Sincere condolences to Tom. I was already thinking of the long walk in a snowy forest when I came across Tara C’s post! My parents are long gone, and I do not have children, so I guess I can be creative, if I get to plan my ending at all. (And how funny is it that we think we can?)

    Chocolate cake and jewels–I’m on your team, Musette! Although I am perfectly happy with top quality, vintage rhinestones but never skimp on the chocolate! I do hope that I go quickly when it is my time, and not be a burden to my nieces and nephews, or whoever else may care at the time.
    The main thing is: I do not want to die an emotional pauper. I hope someone will mind that I was here and that I left, that is all. I sometimes think about a great number of flutes out in the world with my initials under the lip plate. Those will be playing on long after I have been silenced.

    I do have a will, which I periodically review. After my mother died, five years ago, I started thinking about all of the stuff I have accumulated, and how burdensome it may be for my survivors to deal with. I have written a few notes in a journal to let people know what they might do with anything they don’t want to keep, and mostly to not worry about just throwing it out or giving it away.

    Assuming I leave a body for someone to deal with, I would appreciate it if someone could please just spray me with Heure Exquise.

    • Musette says:

      E, your comment merged with two others, which is hysterical – there are going to be several corpses wafting Heure Exquise, it seems 😉

      “emotional pauper” is my new, favorite phrase. Thank you for that!

      xoxoxoxoA

    • Musette says:

      I wish you all a long, healthy and happy life in your new home! Intriguing to think of what a 94yrold man would do with a big check, isn’t it? I know my dad’s sole focus was making sure I had whatever I wanted (which, in his mind, always translated to a new car – because he LOVED buying a new car. Me, I couldn’t care less – but I appreciated that he was thinking of me, even though he was thinking of himself, bless his heart).

      xoxoxoA

  • Tiara says:

    My thoughts go out to Tom. Sudden deaths are difficult. My mother always prayed she would die in her sleep and by gosh, that’s how she went. It was quite the shock for both my brother and I and very difficult to process. Just 11 months earlier, our dad had died due to complications from a stoke. His death was “easier” to take in that we had time to prepare and he was into his 90’s by then. Then just 2 years ago, my brother, who was struggling with so many things in life including the death of our parents, decided to end it all himself. He left behind a wife, 2 teenage daughters and me. I have decided to want to go like like my mom but before that, I have 2 grandchildren we’re helping to raise. Our son is a single dad with custody of the kids, working long hours with a nutso ex. We do everything we can to shield the kids from her craziness and let them have as normal of a life as possible. If we can get them to adulthood as wonderful people, I’ll die happy.

    • Musette says:

      see…it’s stuff like this that gladdens the heart! You are wonderful! I hope you are given that wish, both for you and for your beloved grandchildren (putting up some prayers for you) – and when you DO pop off, I want it to be quick, painless – and FULL OF CHOCOLATE!

      xoxoxoxoA

  • AnneD says:

    My condolences to Tom. Great article that we can all relate to. Sensitive, yet realistically light hearted. My mother died at 101 and she literally dropped in her tracks, just as she had said she wanted to go. Each time I saw her I knew could be the last, so I tried to always make the most of it. She loved her Estee Lauder Beautiful and I always made sure she had a bottle. I have her last bottle and cherish it. I am not sure how I would want to go, but I hope I have half a second to say thanks for a life that has been both rough and polished and I got the experience of it all. I just hope I smell good on my way out….maybe in something Chanel.

    • Musette says:

      wow! what a great life and what a great way to go! I don’t know if you will go that way but I sure hope you do. I would love that for me as well, wearing the living snot out of Chanel No5!!! Or vintage Gold. And, of course, having eaten that blasted CAKE!

      xoxoxoxoA

  • Tara C says:

    My condolences to Tom. A sudden death is a blow to the gut. As for me, my parents are in their 70’s and still doing relatively well. Fortunately I have a sibling who lives very near them as I live far away. Nevertheless I expect their decline and death to be unpleasant and difficult, unless we get very lucky and my dad drops dead on the golf course. Mom is much more zen and easy-going.

    My husband is 15 years older than me so I expect to go through this with him as well. I have no children so I anticipate having to deal with old age alone and I have no desire to linger. I’m planning a long walk in a snowy forest when I feel myself starting to fail, wearing CdG Zagorsk.

    I retired at 50 so I can enjoy some healthy years of freedom before things go south. I plan to eat lots of great chocolate and pastries. No interest in leaving a legacy, I am happy to leave no trace. I have already done the things I most wanted to do. I am satisfied with my life and just want to enjoy the life I have left with those I love. 🙂 This includes wearing a lot of fabulous perfume of course!

  • rosarita313 says:

    My father is almost 92 and he and my mother, 89, have been married for 67 years. They have been very fortunate. Since Labor day, first my mom had a terrible stomach virus that required a hospital stay but she’s home now and very slowly recovering. The following week my dad got a much more serious infection – high fever, vomiting etc. He was in the hospital for a week and is now in a rehab nursing home where he is refusing to cooperate with anything they want him to do and it is awful. I’m going through what so many of us folks of a certain age with elderly parents go through – trying to protect assets so my mom still has an income, finding long term care for dad that they can afford, doctors and lawyers and administrators, caring for mom and dealing with dad (he struck a therapist yesterday and refused to be cleaned up after several accidents.) My only sibling lives far away and thankfully I do have an awesome caretaker to help with mom two days a week but man……we have an only child and my wish is that she doesn’t have to go through this. I hope my dad can go quietly in his sleep and that I will too. Sorry to write an essay but this post struck a nerve. Tom, you have my sympathy.

    • Musette says:

      oh, my darling – you have my deepest sympathies. Go to aplaceformom.com and check out the blog posts – you have to slog through – hang on – let me see if I can cut through the crap for you (hang on – be right back) – here you go http://www.aplaceformom.com/senior-care-resources – I know from my own dad’s early issues (post-surgery/post-stroke) that there was some onset dementia – sounds like your dad might be experiencing that. I urge you to get Durable POA as well as Medical POA (if you don’t already have both) – durable allows you to manage their finances without having to get the courts involved – it’s actually more for YOU than for them – you need as little additional stress as possible. Your dad may also be suffering from Geriatric Depression (caused by…aging!) which is something MDs are now just exploring.

      xoxoxoA

  • rickyrebarco says:

    I am enjoying the wisdom and perspective that comes with age and am aghast at my co-worker in his 50’s (he’s a baby) who is constantly harping about the ills of getting older. He’s afraid. I feel his fear of death and it’s kinda sad. I’ve been disabled for a while so I know you can live a full happy life with some restrictions. I can still travel, sniff perfumes, read wonderful books, shop and be with my wonderful family. I have accomplished my most important goal in life. I raised my son to be a wonderful compassionate, positive, loving young man who is happy with his life and is helping others every day. I try to bring a smile to a few folks every day and be kind whenever possible. I highly recommend meditating for at least 20 minutes a day. I want death to be like that, like slipping into a deep meditation and just not coming out. Just going into the peace. And I’m going to eat lots of good food before I go, too!! I’ll be wearing Ormonde Jayne’s Frangipani, love, love!! I want gardenias, tuberose and frangipani at my funeral.

    • Musette says:

      Ricky – you know how to LIVE! I achieved my peace with the notion of Death right after I nearly died in a motorcycle crash. I think people tend to ‘get over it’ when they experience some real alteration. Most of my friends in their 50s have a bit of fear – I think it’s the first time we really realize ‘crap! I’m not going to be able to get out of Life alive!’. LOL! With any luck he’ll dilute the fear as he gets along a bit – it would be a pity for him to waste his time worrying.

      xoxoxoA

  • Hey Musette,
    LOVE YOU BACK!
    I live every day for the friends that aren’t here to share it. It’s been my mission since being alive through the AIDS epidemic and having so many friends and acquaintances dying or suiciding. It was the only way I could deal with survivor guilt at the time and has become habitual.
    How will I go? I’m not sure.
    Wishing all of you a quick, painless death in your sleep.
    Do your family and friends a favour, make a will.
    Portia xx

  • Teresa says:

    Another orphan, here….at the age of 55, I am parent-less. Funny how that state finally makes us see our own mortality…we are ‘next in line’, so to speak. But, yes, the older I get, the more ready I feel….no one depending on me for their very existence anymore and that feels very freeing. The rest is all gravy and it’s mine to do with as I please! I need to think about this for a while…but, I’ll definitely be wearing Rive Gauche, it suits me so!

    • Musette says:

      There is a certain freedom in that, isn’t it? I felt a certain loosening of constraints when my dad passed – and I realized that I had no serious responsibilities to anyone any more. It was both weird and weirdly freeing.

      xoxoxoA

  • sarahpatto says:

    Love this post and am seeing that there’s a lot of concordance on the idea of death by chocolate! That goes for me too…

  • I was a child of older parents, and at the ripe of age of 32, I have been on my own for several years now. (Well, not on my OWN own – I have a spouse and child – but you know what I meant.) It wasn’t fun. A part of me is glad it was done with quickly, but my mother will never get to meet my daughter, and now spouse is seeing his parents start to show the signs of their age…

    Anyway! I spilled a sample vial of YSL’s La Nuit de l’homme and only noticed today, when I took out my wallet and wondered why it smelled so amazing. Sad that spouse doesn’t get to wear it; but yay perfumed purse!

    • Musette says:

      My mother died about a week after my 30th birthday, so I know the feeling. My brother was devastated that she never got to meet her grandson – my SIL gave birth about 5 mos after.
      I’m watching the stepcubs watch their dad – especially the eldest cub who now has a preteen daughter! – we’re just entering our 60s but to them we must seem ancient! El O’s had some foot issues that rendered him sort of immobile and it freaked the cub out to see his dad nearly horizontal in the recliner.

      Life is just …weird, innit? Be kind to your hub. Ageing can be devastating, both for the aging as well as the young who have to deal with it.

      xoxoxoA

  • Tiffanie says:

    Condolences to Tom. That really sucks, and I’m so sorry.
    Musette, I’m in that lane right now. I FEEL what you’re saying. I’m glad that over the past few decades my focus on what matters – health and family and friends – has shifted.
    I’m having one of those big-ish birthdays that end in a zero soon. Le sigh. Last week I pulled out my 1992 copy of the “Death by Chocolate” cookbook by Marcel Desaulniers. For my birthday I’m treating myself to the experience of making one of those cakes and then eating it with friends and family. I’ll probably do the chocolate hazelnut ganache cake on p. 128, dubbed “Chocolate Phantasmagoria.” Perfect for an October birthday. No Costco sheet cake this year, nuh-uh no-way. (But I will admit I love a slice of Costco sheet cake, too.)
    Years ago, in the time BC (before children), I baked treats from this cookbook often. Time to dust off the KitchenAid and buy the big bar of Valrhona chocolate. I’m going in, full steam ahead.

    • Tiffanie says:

      Now I’m replying to myself, but here goes. Odd timing, today I came across The Silver Fox’s review of Geisha Noire and Geisha Vanilla Hinoki which contains this quote:
      ‘He had never looked forward to the wisdom and other vaunted benefits of old age. Would he be able to die young — and if possible free of all pain? A graceful death — as a richly patterned kimono, thrown carelessly across a polished table, slides unobtrusively down into the darkness of the floor beneath. A death marked by elegance.’ From Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima quoted here:
      http://www.ascentofelegance.com/2016/07/exquisite-ceremony-geisha-noire-geisha.html

      That’s how I want to go, no matter the age: marked by elegance and smelling of Geisha Vanilla Hinoki, please.

      • Musette says:

        Holy cats and crackers! That’s beautiful! and OMG! the cake. THE CAKE! I always treat myself to a homemade dark chocolate ganache cake for my birthday – I usually cut 2 pcs for that first treat, then slice up and freeze the rest – and promptly forget about it. It’s then a Very Pleasant Surprise when I find one of those foil-wrapped goodies in the chest freezer, come January (my bd is in November)
        …and it’s funny but we are currently discussing the merits of bakery sheet cake over on a Fb post – there’s something about that chemical ‘zing’ isn’t there? Can’t eat much of it – but omgosh – a chocolate cake with either chocolate or white frosting? I will FIGHT YOU for a piece! lol!

        xoxoxoA

  • foxbins says:

    My mother died a few weeks ago at age 92, but hadn’t recognized us since 2010. I don’t want that for myself. I’d much prefer dying in full awareness, preferably not in pain, and quickly. I think I’d like to be wearing Bois des Iles–or maybe take-no-prisoners Sarrasins.

  • Carob says:

    I’d like to expire quietly, in Paris having just finished a lovely meal @ my favorite bistro near Place de Vosges or maybe after a great dinner @ Cafe des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta. Or just expir in my seat during the last act of La Traviata? As long as it’s quick & painless, not in a hospital, & not with my family gathered. No weeping wanted! My mother is 92 & will probably go at the bridge table since she still plays 3 times a week.

    Scent will depend of course on the season & location. Winter? Could be CdeG Avignon or Anne Pliska. Summer? Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle or Hermes Le Jardin….Mediterranee, Could be Ch 19.

    For our middle years, birthdays weren’t so important but my friends celebrate ours together again now, because we may not all make the next one.

  • Scott Lauzé says:

    “I think what most of us want is not to feel remorse at having lived an unfulfilled life. ” Thank you for this, it has been on my mind recently. After years of telling myself I will write creatively when I retire, life has conspired to give me a clear message that the time is now. Now is the only time we have, so make the most of it. I am 60 pages into my novel and LOVING every word, edit, and doubt.

    • Musette says:

      OMG! CONGRATULATIONS!!! and yes! you are right. The time is NOW!
      and I’m totally with you on leaving stuff – I have a huge art and art monograph collection – I’ve made sure to will that out. Perfume collection can go to the thrift store for someone else to delight in. Everything else can go where it will. I’ll be out of the deal, right? xoxoxoA

      and LOVE the idea of Heure Exquise!

      • Musette says:

        lol! Technology is sooo fickle! Your comment merged with Queen Cupcake’s! But that’s okay – you can be sprayed with Heure Exquise as well, if you like! xoxoxoA

  • PJ says:

    My mom is sill living. She is 97 and in a posh place but is unhappy and makes others so. I never used to dread getting old. I’m 65 now and because of her behavior, I now do dread it. I try to think how unlike her I’ve been all my life and so no reason to assume I’ll suddenly become her. Right? Anyway, I do not want to live that long. How about reading the last paragraph of a wonderful book, wearing My Sin and almost finished with a huge piece of Boston Cream Pie with a nice strong whiskey? That’d Be my choice!

    • Musette says:

      PJ, I’m so sorry about your mom’s unhappiness! My dad spent the last couple years in the nursing home and because of it I got to meet a whole raft of people – there are so many personalities. Some were furious to be a) still alive and b) in the nursing home – others were just fine being there, still others were neutral. I think it really depends upon the circumstances and the person’s personality. DH’s bowling buddy bowled until he was 95 and only stopped driving about 3 mos before his death at 96! I just met a man who is still fully independent at 91 – yet my dad gave up (and happily so) when he was 86 and pretty much infantilized himself until his death at 91. So I think it depends upon the circumstances and how we handle it. Sometimes folks just get tired of being here – and I think that’s okay. You are aware of how you don’t want to be so stay vigilant! Just because it’s your mother’s situation doesn’t mean it has to be yours. xoxoxoxoA