I watch them–the other old folks. Even the most able-bodied looks around for something to hold onto when confronted with a flight of stairs. They are grandparents and great-grandparents but often have trouble remembering the names of all the kids and certainly not all the birthdays. They are always complaining about how time flies. “It’s like toilet paper,” they will say. “The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes.”

They are familiar with funerals. Oftentimes the deceased is younger than they are. They feel like they are on borrowed time. This friend has had a triple bypass. That one is having chemotherapy. Worst of all, another one just lost a son or daughter. “That’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” they say. “We old folks are supposed to go first.”

When one of the old folks does “go,” they say things like, “It was time; he suffered enough,” or “Thank God it was fast.” Then they join the party and note that everyone is chatting and eating and laughing, seemingly having a good time. “This is how it will be when I go,” they think. “They’ll miss me briefly and then get on with their lives.”

And they wait.