Here’s the latest from the Not-So-Good-News Department: baby boomers are in for a death boom. Not surprising, but still. There was quite the boom when we came into this world so it stands to reason there’s going to be quite a boom in our demisals (did I just make up that word?).
We’ve gotten used to demographers and media people talking about 10,000 new retirees per day as boomers hit their late 60s and 70s. How are we going to feel when they start counting or estimating how many baby boomers can expect to die in a year, a month or a day?
Boomers are living longer thanks to better health habits and exercise (along with gritty determination) but all the same, we can’t opt out when the call comes. On the bright side (if there is one), there will be lots of expanded opportunities for hospices, funeral planners and grief counselors.
I don’t know why this news about a death boom should surprise any of us boomers, as our numbers have been thinning for a while now. Not a week goes by without us hearing about a classmate, colleague or neighbor who has crossed the great divide. Just in passing (ha…death sarcasm) there is a surprisingly large catalog of euphemisms for dying. Passed, slipped away, gave up the ghost, kicked the bucket, called to a better place, called home, permanent vacation, cashed in your chips, pushing up daisies, met the grim reaper, joined the choir, packed it in, bought the farm or just plain departed. Perhaps the most annoying one is “lost,” as in she lost her husband. He’s not lost because we know where he is, but we’re just skittish about saying he’s dead.
Well now, this has been an uplifting discussion of the impending death boom, and for that I’m truly sorry. But the good news is that you are reading this, so you have not yet “succumbed.” Good on you.
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.