How OLD?


I’m going to a funeral today. A good friend died last week,her daughter left a message on our answerphone. She had been taken into hospital through the night and had died not long after. Her daughter is a lot older than me. Her granddaughters are, I think, about my age.
My friend was 94, yes that old. Whenever I tell anyone, they look at me like I am an idiot.
‘What? 94!’ they nearly always say.
‘Yes 94. She was that old.’
It’s only recently that I have come to realize that people have strange ideas about the age restrictions of friendship, (I’m not even going near being friends with those ‘too young’).
Since when was having a friend older than yourself something to be repulsed by?
What is the upper age limit on friendship?
J*** was funny,interesting,considerate,listened and listened to,loved politics and still liked a drink and the occasional cigarette. We hit it off immediately!Before she died she was about to go on holiday for a spa break.
I won’t blather on about how older people are treated especially in the UK.It’s abysmal. My mother said one of the worst things was being patronized; talked down to like you had never been a child, never worked, seen poverty, raised children or been ‘young'(J*** told me about things that went on when she was young,Free Love did not start in the 60’s!).
I’ll probably cry today and feel sad. Sad that I won’t have our chats (gossip) and that I won’t see her having a smoke in the garden or coming home from work,she volunteered at a local hospital until last year.
But I’m so glad I knew her;she lived life full on and that’s a lesson I will take with me from her, from my friend.


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