Clearly, age 60 is somewhat of an arbitrary age to end my life. But, it isn’t just that age 60 is a nice round number. It's also August 15, 2013 – the very day I turned 60. That’s symmetry and I loved a lot of things, but not many more than good symmetry.
Besides, beginning with the age of 60, a lot of people begin to die. It’s too bad, I guess. I suppose we should all be so fortunate to live to be Methuselah’s age of 969, but much like the buggy whip, the glory days of 900+ year olds is a thing of the past.
Famous people who have died younger than 60…
Jimi Hendrix 27, Princess Di 36, Michael Jackson 50, Abraham Lincoln 56, John Kennedy 46, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 39, John Lennon 40, Kurt Cobain 27, John Kennedy Jr. 38, Robert Kennedy 42, Elvis Presley 42, Janis Joplin, 27, Thurman Munson 32, Lou Gehrig 37, Heath Ledger 28, Anna Nicole Smith 39, Maryilyn Monroe 36, John Denver 53, George Reeves 45, John Belushi 33, Chris Farley 33, River Phoenix 23, Bob Marley 36, Linda McCartney 56, George Harrison 58, Judy Garland 47, Jim Morrison 27, Amy Winehouse 27, Steve Jobs 56, Natalie Wood 43, Freddie Prinze 22, Whitney Houston 48, Steve Irwin 44, Tupac Shakur 25, Bernie Mac 50, Bruce Lee 32, Roberto Clemente 38, Elvis Presley 42, Freddy Mercury 45, Andy Kaufman 35, Patrick Swayze 57, Jesus 32, Babe Ruth 53, Marvin Gaye 45, Buddy Holly 22, Michael Landon 57, Hugo Chavez 58, Andy Warhol 58, James Dean 24, John Candy 43, Jim Croce 30…
…just to name a few. There is no shame in dying at 60.
Even though not being on the government dole is of zero consequence to the future economic collapse of the United States, I could take pride in the fact that I wasn’t going to be sucking on the nipple of the federal debt by taking social security and medicare. When the US economy collapses, it won't have been me that contributed to taking it down.
Besides, if you create a ledger with all the contributions that I would have made to friends, family and society from age 60 on... and you also note all the contributions that friends, family and society would have made to me from the age of 60 on, I felt there was a real strong possibility that I would have ended in a net negative - and perhaps much sooner than I would have even expected. By giving everything I have up to the last minute, I knew in my heart that I contributed the most I could possibly give and taken the least I could possibly need.
Another reason why age 60 is ideal is that my life insurance expires next year and I would not be able to afford to get new insurance without paying a ton. And, it requires two years of waiting - once you get insurance - before you can commit suicide and still have the beneficiaries receive the death benefit.
After I got my second divorce, I chose to lease a three bedroom, two bath duplex. It was probably a lot more space than I needed, but at the same time, it was great to have the room. When I first moved in, my lease began September 1st, 2004. I renewed it every year since. I guess it was just luck instead of destiny, but my birthday was August 15th. That was a perfect day to die - two weeks before my lease expired. Although I planned to have the vast majority of my personal property gone by the time I died, there were a few things for my sister to take care of. I informed my landlord in late July that I would not be extending the lease. That gave my sister two weeks to take the few things I left for her before the lease expired and it gave him time to have it ready to re-lease by September 1st.
And, if that wasn't enough coincidence, my renter's insurance renews on August 31st as does my car insurance as does my driver's license as does the license plate on my car! What are the odds? I always loved it when a plan would come together.
I know it may seem superficial, but I hated winter so bad that to die during a cold, dark icy snowstormy night would have been the worst possible way to go out. If nothing else, the symbolism sucks! As it is, I got to see another spring and another longest day of the year. By August 15th, I was as far away from winter as it is possible to get. Thank God!
And, finally this. From Star Trek: The Next Generation (Half a Life), 1991. Proof that I was 200 years ahead of my time!
David Ogden Stiers (Dr. Timicin) falls for the mother (Lwaxana) of one of the crew on the Enterprise. At first he tries to discourage her from being interested in him, but eventually neither can resist the urge. Unfortunately, their relationship can never last.
Lwaxana becomes livid with protest when she discovers that, approaching the age of 60, Timicin is, upon returning to his planet, to undergo the "Resolution", ritual suicide. She immediately goes to Captain Picard and demands he intervene to spare Timicin's life, but Picard refuses to do so, as he is bound by the Prime Directive not to interfere.
Lwaxana and Timicin spend a lot of time together, discussing the concept of ritual suicide back and forth. Lwaxana considers the practice barbaric, while Timicin attempts to explain that in his culture it is an accepted practice for all to undergo the ritual on their 60th birthday to avoid old age, infirmity, indignity, dependence on others, and the cruel uncertainty about when the end would come. Each ends up finding the other's point of view cruel: Lwaxana because she sees it as arbitrary murder in an uncertain universe when death can come both well before and well after the designated age, Timicin because she is denying people control of their fate and the opportunity to end life with dignity.
Despite going back and forth on the issue, Lwaxana eventually concedes, though she still disagrees with the tradition. She packs her bags and sets out to accompany Timicin to the planet to be with him at his ritual. She promises not to cause trouble and Timicin and Lwaxana beam down hand in hand to the planet.
COOL FACTOID: David Ogden Stiers was approaching 60 years of age in real life when this episode aired.