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All kinds of small issues become bigger as you age. I hate growing old. I'm kind of the opposite to you, Hobbes, in that I don't fear death, but I hate the idea of growing older and more feeble, until I can't take care of myself anymore. I have no immediate family left; both parents are dead, and my older brother passed away a couple months ago. There is nobody to take care of me if I can't take care of myself. My only consolation is that people in my family tend to die fairly young. My dad had a heart attack at age 68; my mom, also a heart attack at 72; my brother died of complications from diabetes and Parkinson's disease. I am 56 and figure that I have, at most, another couple of decades. 

Some might think it weird or macabre to think of my own demise this way, but it helps me come to grips with the fact that I don't have a lot of time left. Life, or at least this portion of it,  really is surprisingly short.

As for what happens after, I gave up on atheism for different reasons that I won't go into here. I do think there is something to reincarnation. Would we be so scared of death if we knew that we've done it before? 

I know that this is ridiculous to some, and I totally understand that. But it has forced me to consider my life up to now, my shortcomings and faults, all the stupid things I've said and done over the years, my lack of gratitude for what I have. I keep wondering what lessons I am supposed to learn, and why I am here at all when I seem to have lead a rather pointless existence.

At any rate, I don't like this world at all, and looking back, I realize that I have never enjoyed being alive. There are things and activities that give me temporary pleasure, but being alive is mainly a bother, especially now, with the  Andromeda Strain 2.0 going on. I will not be sad to leave this world, whether there is an afterlife or not.

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I keep wondering what lessons I am supposed to learn, and why I am here at all when I seem to have lead a rather pointless existence.

My sincere condolences on the loss of your brother, and this time last year, I was asking the same questions.  :( However, I would like to say I have come to believe that no one's life is pointless.  Perhaps, we are all here to learn that?

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Since I don't have kids or much of a family, I've asked a friend's kid to take care of me in my old age and she has agreed to. I want to load up on life insurance policies to make her rich when I finally kick. I don't want any heroic measures and hope she doesn't really have to DO anything but sign me into a home once my mind has gone, completely.

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