You know the one, “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow”.
Folks often talk about that bus but generally it is with a laugh or an unsaid “as if”. Yet if we take a moment, inside we do know that life is fragile and it wouldn’t take much to whisk us away from the living.
Our minds though have an amazing ability to convince us that we don’t need to worry about it. That death mainly waits for the elderly and no matter how old we are, that is always many years from now in our minds. The truth might be a little startling.
Yes, most of those who die are older. 72% of Americans die after 65, with 56% of those dying after 74. Heart and lung disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and stroke take most of these adults.
While I doubt most of my readers are under 14 it is worth noting that 1.7% of deaths are among children, most of them dying in the first year of life.
About 3% of us die in our youthful years between the ages of 15 and 24 often from suicide, car wrecks, poisoning or accidents. Always a shock, thankfully like those under 14, these deaths are uncommon.
Ah but what about the rest of us aged 25-64? Well this is the fact that might be sobering. If you have already done the math you are likely a little surprised already. Shockingly about 25% of all deaths happen in this age group. Curious how most of us die? The CDC gives these as the top killers.
25-34yo poison, suicide, car wreck, homicide, injury
35-44yo poison, suicide, heart, car wreck, homicide
45-54yo heart disease, poison, lung cancer, suicide, liver disease
Not a bus.
This is why I strongly advocate for folks 25-65 to consider their death and wishes about their death care. While about 25% of deaths happen to those in the middle of their lives, it is still a shock to most, compared to an older person’s death. That grief makes it even harder to wonder “What would they have wanted?” Give your family a gift and outline what you desire and communicate with them what and why.
Oh and still, keep an eye open for the bus.
Statistics show, if you live to be 100, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age. – George Burns (1896-1996)
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Kel McBride, MLS, CEOLS, also known as the Lively Death Lady is a death and dying educator. She supports people in making informed decisions about their death that are in sync with their values. From health care to legacy, McBride makes the morbid intriguing and light-hearted, with amusing examples and details of lesser-known options. Her clients get their documents in order, have quality conversations about their wishes with friends and family – and also find a new focus on LIVING. She primarily works with people who are younger & healthy, people who believe their death is in the distant future. For more information or to be added to her EXPIRATIONS INSPIRATIONS blog email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit clearlydepart.com