Equality of the Grave

I’m a little late to this article in The Guardian about how women ought to be content with dying alone in a flat being eaten by her cats, but here goes anyway:

Not long ago I had a discussion with a friend about why she married, and ultimately divorced, someone she knew wasn’t right for her. She said she bought into society’s deafening message that being with a man – any man – is better than being alone, and certainly better than dying alone, which is allegedly the worst fate anyone, especially any woman, can suffer.

Society’s message is not that women should be with any man, but that making the effort to be in a functioning relationship and putting up with some degree of inconvenience is better than being alone.

When I told her that I’ve never feared dying alone, and in fact have sometimes feared the opposite, she told me I was incredibly lucky.

The author is 40. I wonder what she’ll say when she’s 50?

Because this meant I wouldn’t end up settling for a life that doesn’t actually make me happy, even if society tells me it’s supposed to.

There’s always the option of shacking up with that strawman she’s built.

Apparently I’m not alone. (Pun intended!) Data confirms that more women have begun to realize that there are far worse things than dying alone, which is great news for women but bad news for the patriarchy.

Women accepting they will die alone is great news…for women? Hurrah for modern feminism!

“Broke men are hurting women’s marriage prospects,” the NY Post recently declared, citing a study from the Journal of Family and Marriage. The article claimed that “most American women hope to marry” but there is a shortage of men with stable incomes and lives, making it tough for women to do so.

Why does the modern woman need a man with a stable income? After all:

CNN reports that there “are more single working women than ever,” and by 2030, according to the CDC, “45% of working women ages 25 to 44 in the United States will be single”.

If more women are working, why the insistence on a man having a stable income? Sounds a bit old fashioned to me!

Contrary to decades of prevailing wisdom that those who marry are better off, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found that women who stay single or who divorce are actually healthier than those who stay married. By contrast, married men are healthier than men who are not. Why the discrepancy?

Divorced women have more time to go to gym classes (alone) and they’re able to eat lettuce every night without a man demanding meat and potatoes?

When a man divorces, he may see his physical and emotional health slide. He loses the person concerned with keeping him healthy and much of his social network.

Until he remarries, which is usually the case.

By contrast, women who divorce just see their relationships evolve from investing in a man to investing more heavily in other social or community connections.

A community of bitter divorcees who talked her into it in the first place.

For years, the feminist writer Linda Hirshman courted controversy by advising that marriage, unless to an exceptional man, is often a “bad bargain” for women. With every child a woman has, she sees her pay and long-term professional opportunities decline, particularly if she leaves the workforce for a significant period of time.

Because every woman knows that a promotion to Assistant Head of Marketing in GlobalMegaCorp’s Bristol subsidiary and the accompanying 3% pay rise (pre-tax) is worth more than having a lousy kid.

Furthermore, marriage has historically presented women with two options, neither good: marry a man and sacrifice your autonomy and career goals to become financially dependent on him. Or marry a man and maintain your own career but be prepared to have a “second shift” career taking care of him and the home.

Whereas single motherhood is just peachy.

Even among more open-minded millennial men, the female spouse still ends up doing the majority of caregiving and housekeeping.

That’s because men spend longer at work supporting their wives and families.

More women, however, are foregoing marriage and motherhood. In doing so, they trade in their “second shift” and instead begin taking care of themselves.

The sharp rise in the use of anti-depressants among the same demographic is probably just a coincidence.

To use Hirshman’s language, they are rejecting a “bad bargain”. This new status quo frustrates men who feel entitled to female companionship, such as angry male “incels”.

Women who reject men who don’t have stable incomes to support them complain those same men feel entitled?

Women have more economic power and freedom to set standards regarding the men they will be with, and what they will put up with from those men, than at any time in history.

And having set those standards, they find nobody is willing to meet them – at least with them. Apparently this is progress.

More women are deciding that being in a bad marriage, or trying to co-parent with an irresponsible man, is much worse than dying alone.

This is nothing new. It’s been the case since divorce laws gifted women the house, the kids, and half of everything the man ever owned.

Once dying alone is no longer scary to women, men lose power.

Fighting the patriarchy by dying alone.

So it shouldn’t be surprising that some incels are outraged.

Fighting the patriarchy Annoying some incels by dying alone.

It’s no different than those who mourn the days when they didn’t have to compete for jobs against women and racial minorities.

No different, and just as imaginary.

It must be frustrating to lose power you once had but didn’t necessarily deserve.

As you likely found when men stopped being interested in you.

That’s not to say women shouldn’t marry and have children. It is to say women should feel empowered to do so, only if they truly want to and with partners who are worthy of them, who champion and nurture their success, not hold them back or drag them down.

Or, apparently, can’t pay for their upkeep.

More women are embracing that message, and that could ultimately do more for women’s equality than any government policy ever will.

And the fox didn’t want the grapes anyway: they were too sour.

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43 thoughts on “Equality of the Grave

  1. To be fair, marrying so that “you don’t die alone” is a crappy reason to get married, particularly for women who on average men older than them (and who, on average, die at an earlier age than them).

    It does mean that statistically more women than men end up being a care-giver in their last years of life, before dying alone anyway.

    This isn’t intended an anti-marriage argument, just why I’ve always found the “prevent dying alone – get married!” line to be a poor one.

    A practically-minded friend of mine thought that young women should marry older men, have their babies, look after them in their dotage, then hit the singles markets in their 40s/early 50s, whereupon the societal norm should be for them to marry 20-something men whom they would then educate on the arts of keeping a home,sex, looking after a woman etc. Once the second husband has successfully demonstrated his commitment and fulfilled his duties by caring for his older bride until the grave, he would now be deemed socially desirable for a younger woman to marry and could have a family of his own. And so the cycle would repeat, with almost everyone having a physically fit partner to care for them at the end of their lives instead of two frail people facing death together, and where families are brought up with the benefits of both a resource-rich environment (usefulness of an older man) plus a fertile and energetic mother (better for women to have their kids early than wait til their 40s when “the men have grown up a bit” or they’ve made a bit of money from their job or whatever their reason for delay is). All cunningly thought out. I wonder if somewhere in the depths of Papua New Guinea there’s a tribe that follows this social model…

  2. To be fair, marrying so that “you don’t die alone” is a crappy reason to get married

    Indeed, but “being alone for decades sucks so maybe work on yourself and finding a partner” isn’t.

  3. As someone who is caring for a dying mother, I risk being offensive here. I don’t know how people can find dying alone a noble position. How do people expect to be cared for when they are old and dying if they have no spouse or children? Who is going to take them to doctor appointments, take care of their finances, bring them clothes and personal items to the next place they move to, take them to Emergency, talk to them? Your siblings? Your friends? Maybe, but doubtful. Especially if family is not local to you. Friends get freaked out when others get sick and flee the scene. I’ve seen it over and over. Chances are that they’ll be too old and sick to do anything anyway.

    My sister and I can barely keep up with the demands of our mom. It’s exhausting. Having my mom fend for herself is unimaginable. She barely knows what’s going on. She would only be neglected because it is too much to handle for strangers or caregivers to go the extra mile to comfort someone. I have one kid and worry that that will be a problem in the future. There will have to be a whole industry of guardians to handle this load in the future and it won’t be pretty. Until someone can tell me, in practical terms, how dying alone will be manageable, I fear that those who fluff off marriage and children will be in a terrible bind.

    This topic is very raw for me and some might not like it, but I strongly encourage people to think of the consequences of decisions like this. Doing it for the sake of feminism is the most pathetic reason of all, but this phenomenon is going to hit far more people than them.

  4. Well, I think implicit in the ‘don’t die alone’ thing is children, not just the spouse.

  5. Well, I think implicit in the ‘don’t die alone’ thing is children, not just the spouse.

    Bit hard if she’s played the typical female version of frivorce including parental alienation of the biomale and the merry-go-round of “Random bloke #12” wants you to call him Daddy.

    We live in a society…

  6. MBE, I am sure that no tribe with a social democratic government would be permitted to try your practical minded friend’s suggested experiment unless spousal exemption for IHT were abolished first.

  7. One has to wonder whether the women who write such pieces or enjoy reading them grew up with two parents and have a good relationship with their fathers.

  8. @Oblong

    “Well, I think implicit in the ‘don’t die alone’ thing is children, not just the spouse.”

    Yes, a good point, and I think that is generally implicit. But I also think it’s worth taking the time to make it explicit because the two are becoming increasingly decoupled. It’s rare for single women to seek fertility treatment so they can have a child alone, but it is now happening (is there an equivalent for single straight males?). Informal arrangements for getting pregnant are probably a few orders of magnitude more common than that, and somewhat more common still are relationships resulting in kids that do not involve long-term settling down and til-death-to-us-part.

    On the flip side, I know plenty of married couples who are rebelling against the Catholic idea of marriage as an institution for bringing up kids. Some don’t like the idea of kids at all, sometimes it’s environmental or practical or financial reasons, sometimes it’s just that they’ve left it too late. Moreover, even those married couples who do have kids are having fewer. One or two kids tends to be your lot these days, and if that kid happens to die before they’re 65-75 (bearing in mind mother might live to getting on to 100, so “early” death of a child might be more common than you might think) or moves far away for career, even emigrating, or there’s a catastrophic family row, or they marry someone whose parents are thousands of miles away so practically only one side of the family can be looked after and it’s pot-luck whether it’ll be your own… well, there’s plenty of ways that the “warm-blooded insurance policy” might not come good.

    @Howard R

    You have my sympathies. I used to do voluntary work at an old folk’s home and it surprised and depressed me how many of them actually did have kids, but seldom or even never saw them. If their adult children were in Cyprus or Spain or wherever, they didn’t seem too keen to nip back to the UK every whip and trip just to see how much further mother’s memory and physical condition had deteriorated. On the one hand I can see why confronting that reality on the annual trip home would be depressing and tempting to put off (so that “annual” rapidly became “once every couple of years” or “for the bigger family funerals”) but I don’t know how it sat on their consciences. I mean, it’s your mother for goodness sake, no matter how well or badly you got on, don’t you owe at least that much to her?

  9. MyBurningEars
    “To be fair, marrying so that “you don’t die alone” is a crappy reason to get married, particularly for women who on average men older than them (and who, on average, die at an earlier age than them).”

    Agree. To me the best, and really only, reason to be married is to have a family. That is the structure that prevents people from dying alone.

  10. ‘Dying alone’ Hah!

    One half of every couple is going to die alone – barring rare events.

    Its the spending the last 20 years of your life, becoming increasingly isolated as you increasingly need the help of others, that’s to be feared.

    *Some* people end up with a tight-knit group of non-family friends that can see them through those times. Most of the rest will be found several weeks after the cats have had their way with them.

  11. I saw my father (died at 90) going steadily downhill and don’t need that kind of humiliation. Voluntary euthanasia a.k.a. suicide is a valid option.

  12. I’m a bloke and will probably die alone. It is not an FU to feminists, it is the consequence of the type of life I have chosen to live. I hope I will have my wits and some sense when the time comes because I intend to take a trip to the beach.
    PS what is all this I’m hearing about incels lately? Them + trans = one six millionth of the population.

  13. Theres a lot of crazy in that article. The bit that caught my eye was the repeated mentions of ‘incels’*.

    I’m not sure why the author felt compelled to mention them so frequently. To be honest, I’m not sure that incels are actually related to the argument she is making.

    The mentions feel a bit shoehorned in, and it feels slightly more revealing of the author’s psyche than anything else.

    Is she not, after all, describing a group of women who are statistically much more likely to be incels themselves? A group of women that she herself belongs to?

    * Incels is an interesting concept. The label is used as a pejorative, and its aimed at white males, who are often overweight, socially awkward and low status. However, the same people who poke fun at those incels are often the folks who are all for body positivity in the larger lady, castigate straight men for not fancying trans women (the concept of the female dick, for instance) and are obsessed with women’s status relative to men. The dissonance is strong.

  14. Loneliness is not being alone, it’s minding being alone.

    I’ve lived alone for almost 40 years. I’m not a hermit, I just prefer my own company. The things I like doing just don’t require other people 90% of the time.

    Some people are lucky in that they remain fit and mentally active, perfectly capable of looking after themselves well into their 80s or 90s. One day they just keel over and lights out.

    Most of us will require looking after in one form or another though, and it’s a question who will do this. Which is worse, not having children or having children who don’t want to take any care or have much in the way of involvement with elderly parents? I suspect that there are (and will be increasingly) more of the latter than many people want to admit.

    As a lifelong loner, who will likely die alone (something I’ve always known) I wonder how unusual that will be. Not very I suspect.

    It’s not dying alone though, it’s the thought of some abattoir of a care home. As John Gait above says: we live in a society.

    I’d like to think that when I get that old and decrepit I’d end it myself. I doubt it but who knows.

  15. “How do people expect to be cared for when they are old and dying if they have no spouse or children? Who is going to take them to doctor appointments, take care of their finances, bring them clothes and personal items to the next place they move to, take them to Emergency, talk to them?”

    Feminists want the state to fulfil (or at least fund) the role of husband and/or carer.

  16. women who stay single or who divorce are actually healthier than those who stay married

    They’re confusing cause and effect. Health and income are correlated. If the high-income (and healthiest) women stay single, and the poorer (and less healthy) women settle into marriage, then statistically it will appear that marriage causes poor health in women. In fact the chain of causation is reversed: poor prospects for women cause them to settle down.

    Same applies for men. Taking the statistics at face value, marriage is good for men’s health. In practice though, only the men in good health get married.

  17. There’s always the option of shacking up with that strawman she’s built.

    If The Guardian didn’t have strawmen they wouldn’t have any men at all.

  18. @Theophrastus

    Yes and this is one of the most foolish beliefs going. Why would low paid, transient, increasingly migrationary (meaning cultural expectations will jar between care reciever and care giver) workers have any of your interests at heart or give two shits about you when they are doing the 2-10pm shift and are still hungover from last night.

    This is the expectation of someone with zero experience of the state or private sector carers. I would not trust them at all.

    @Howard

    My sympathies too. Myself and siblings had the same experience up until last year. Its a startling revelation of the how brutal the end of life can be.

    And even with kids, who do come out to bat for you and regularly see you. You still might die during the night, alone…..

    🙁

  19. Increasing house prices should reduce people dying alone as more and more people live in house shares or with their parents. Thanks Tony, Gordon and Dave for that.

  20. @Andrew M: thats a very good point I’ve never heard articulated before. Everyone seems to assume that a man getting married is a sort of neutral random probability event, not dependent on other factors, thus one can compare the health of married and unmarried men and conclude that any variation is down to marriage. When in reality health is a marker for wealth, and wealth is a marker for likelihood of getting married. Ergo wealthy (and therefore healthy) men are more likely to get married (or stay married) and vice versa.

  21. The young folk are shying away from sex altogether in many societies. Japan being the most extreme. Developed world birth rates are plumetting well below replacement. The developed world will undergo population collapse and decades of demographic weirdness with old vs young ratios being historically extraordinary.

    And then in 50 years or more the developed world will be bankrupt and also empty. The shaggers will inherit the earth and birth rates will rise again just as women’s rights disappear. Mankind will revert to its historic norm and in 200 years the historians will wonder how we got so fucked up so quickly in this age.

  22. @Patrick

    Japan shows the issues more vividly than the West because they’ve historically been a low immigration society, whereas higher birth rates among migrants have given eg British fertility rates an upwards kick towards replacement or near-replacement levels. Thing is, though, that from an “are your kids gonna care for you” perspective, society’s birth rate is rather less important than your own. The “never having kids” couples I know are predominantly middle-class white people who are relying on their financial position to pull them through. We will see how well that works out…

    I wouldn’t want to make too many predictions about the next few hundred years since there’s the possibility of a shift in attitudes or technological change (eg artificial wombs). But Western society does seem to be bizarrely self-sabotaging – if a society thinks it is worth perpetuating itself then it needs to find a way to enable youngish people to settle down and have kids without worrying this means throwing away their financial security, and couples struggling to get a mortgage in their thirties even on dual professional incomes are not well situated to do that. That one’s at least partly on successive governments and central bankers. Society’s cultural habits re dating, mating and divorce also make a difference to whether and when people have kids, arguably a negative one in the British case at least, and that one’s more on us.

    @Aggers

    “One half of every couple is going to die alone – barring rare events.”

    Yeah, and your point about company in the extended twilight years more generally is a good one. The business end is definitely the last couple of years though – things often seem to go downhill very quickly once they’ve got rolling, and yet it’s rarely all over in a flash so there’s still time for it to plumb some pretty horrifying depths. If a woman marries a man three years older then she’ll likely have partnership as she gets through the “things getting harder, body and mind getting slower” stage of life – though she’ll be spending some of that doing some pretty unpleasant care work – but odds are she’ll face the really tough years alone unless the kids show up.

    Even if there weren’t sexual inequalities in marital age and life expectancy, as you suggest it’d still be at best a 50% crap-shoot as to who pops their clogs first. This is what I found ingenious about my friend’s suggestion of a double age-gap society – if we all married older then married younger, there’d be a degree of certainty that everyone will have someone at the end. Indeed, if those were the social norms, two people of similar age getting hitched might face strong social pressure about how “irresponsible” and “selfish” their choice is (rather like sixty-something IVF mums get castigated in our real-world society), since they are exposing their beloved to the risk of dying alone while shirking their social responsibility to care for an older person first. My friend was rather strange but I couldn’t fault her remorseless logic on this one.

  23. Patrick,

    How much of that sexlessness is because Japan has a truly eye-watering variety of pr0n?

  24. “With every child a woman has, she sees her pay and long-term professional opportunities decline, particularly if she leaves the workforce for a significant period of time.”

    But if you very dare to suggest that the Gender Pay Gap ™ is in fact just a motherhood gap, you are a mansplaining bastard from Gilead who wants to enslave the wimminz.

  25. @David Moore… To me the best, and really only, reason to be married is to have a family. That is the structure that prevents people from dying alone.

    Reason to be married… Regular sex used to be one of the principal reasons, the family (children) bit was merely a byproduct.

  26. Bernie G

    “Reason to be married… Regular sex used to be one of the principal reasons, the family (children) bit was merely a byproduct.”

    For man, sure. That is no longer the case in the west, so the utility for western men has dropped significantly.

  27. Bernie,

    “the family (children) bit was merely a byproduct”

    If we’re taking that line, then it’s not merely a byproduct. The whole point is that, since prehistoric times, it’s been the case that women want children and men want sex. Marriage is was a way of ensuring that the men don’t get to get the sex until they’re properly nailed down to the commitment of sticking around to ensure that the mother and resulting children are looked after.

    Ever since prehistory, it’s been recognised that raising children is hard and not something to undertaken lightly. Women have therefore always needed to ensure that they could wring that commitment out of the men BEFORE the actually unbreakable commitment of a child arrives. Societal stigmas to children out of wedlock to deter (particularly) women from letting men have their way then buggering off arise as a result of that.

  28. And what David said.

    The unravelling of the marriage by the trendy lefty wreckers is one of the best examples of a Chesterton’s Fence that there ever was.

  29. A few years back, one of my sailing magazines had a “Safety At Sea” issue, which included an article talking about how accidents at sea become more common with older sailors. It made intuitive sense, given that strength, balance, reflexes, and the like diminish with age.

    The following month, the letters to the editor were filled with variations on “A lot of those ‘accidents’ among older sailors aren’t really accidents at all.” Basically, every sailing club knows of at least one member who received an unpleasant diagnosis, and by sheer coincidence had a sailing ‘accident’ a few months later, not long after taking a long holiday trip with his family and getting all his affairs in order.

    It’s simple, really — just pick a day when the wind is up, start a jibe, and stand up as the boom comes across the cockpit. You go out on your own terms, doing something you love. It’s not fair to the poor Coast Guard lad who pulls your body out of the water the next day, but for everybody else it’s a remarkably clean exit.

    I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t added it to my end-of-life considerations.

  30. “just pick a day when the wind is up, start a jibe, and stand up as the boom comes across the cockpit. ”

    Do it right and it will knock you out on the way over. You drown in two minutes if you’re unconscious and you’ll never know.

    My parents are now very old and it really doesn’t look fun. The question here is whether you get that awful diagnosis and have time to take this calculated way out. The slow, inevitable ebbing away of capability just seems a terrible, terrible way to go.

  31. Pedant-General said,

    Marriage is was a way of ensuring that the men don’t get to get the sex until they’re properly nailed down to the commitment

    A couple things:

    1) You’re correct, but it’s also (mainly?) about ensuring paternity of the children. Men’s nature is to want lots of women but women’s nature is to dump her current male for a better one on a dime, so marriage corrects for both and ensures societal legitimacy for the offspring.

    2) The older and further into child-raising I get the more I realize the “men only think about one thing” stereotype applies far more to the young. Having children focused me in a way not otherwise possible, and getting laid has taken a back seat (as in, Rosa Parks back seat) to molding physically and emotionally strong humans. So I don’t think the ancient tradition of marriage is as counter to men’s base nature as many suggest, including me in point (1).

  32. Sam has the right of it. Marriage and its attendant monogamy is a social institution, it isn’t inherent in the human species the way it is in wolves and swans. And its sole purpose is to ensure legitimate heirs.

  33. A practically-minded friend of mine…

    So the 40-something-old man will take good care of his dearly beloved 80-year-old wife until she dies a peaceful death, even though he has a hot new 22-year-old secretary who is itching to tie the knot as soon as possible. And he hasn’t had sex in the last 10 years, but that doesn’t matter, because he loves his dear, dying wife. Of course, if the old hag drags on for another decade, he’s screwed.

    And the 38-year-old wife whose youngest child is now 16 might just be able to seduce the new gardener, if only her senile old husband would oblige her by kicking the bucket before it’s too late.

    No societal norms are going to overcome this strong a Darwinian interest. You’ll have mandatory euthanasia laws at age 60 passed within 3 months.

  34. You should have your kids in quick succession. In your mid teens. Start higher ed part time when the youngest is off at school, and then jump on the career trajectory at, say, 28. Which is earlier than the average pampered millennial gets a proper job anyway. It’s crazy starting career then interrupting it for several years and going back to work out of date. Just need to bring the financing forward somehow.

  35. BiG,

    Here’s an idea: instead of spending £30K on degrees for women, most of which don’t have a good payback, finance raising families.

    The payback of degrees by women is really, really bad. Not all women. But a lot of women do degrees that add little to salaries and by the time they hit the years of experience where they start paying back, they have kids. At which point, they drop back to 0. Or, they go part time, which takes them below the threshold. And by the time they are back full time, they’re 45 and only have a few more years before the whole thing gets written off.

  36. @Jonathan

    “You’ll have mandatory euthanasia laws at age 60 passed within 3 months.”
    .
    Being a cynical lass, this or something like but not quite as extreme as it might well have been part of her plan.

    @big

    I used to work as an adult education lecturer and that describes many of my clientele! Lots went off to uni to do midwifery, nursing, social work… Don’t think doing life in the socially non-conventional (but biologically logical) order did them any harm. If anything it meant they took their studies more seriously and had a more practical end-goal in mind, rather than just do any old degree that took their fancy and “see what happens” about a job afterwards!

  37. Men’s nature is to want lots of women but women’s nature is to dump her current male for a better one on a dime, so marriage corrects for both and ensures societal legitimacy for the offspring.

    Thanks Sam. Please accept the blog title of “Our Correspondent for the 1950’s”.

    The reason why many men are avoiding (rather than evading) marriage is that they’ve seen it transformed from a means of social reinforcement of marriage to a mechanism by which men subsidise women’s poor life choices by giving them half their shit + cash and prizes in return for parental alienation of their children.

    Forgive me for not signing the fuck up a second time.

  38. @Bloke on M4

    The payback of degrees by women is really, really bad.

    It depends how you count it. If she marries a high-flying lawyer she met in law school or in court, instead of the boy next door, who was only a bricklayer, then the payback was pretty good. This is the cynic’s view of the matter, in which a degree functions only as really expensive lipstick – women only put it on because all the other women are putting it on, trying to attract the best men. I think there’s some truth in it, but that it’s far from the whole truth.

  39. I think there’s some truth in it, but that it’s far from the whole truth.

    Going to college, for a young woman, used to be called “the M.R.S. degree”. Educated professional men wanted educated, smart wives.

    The lifetime ROI for non-STEM degrees has always been mediocre; at this particular moment it’s actually negative, and will stay so until the tuition market corrects.

    I have a number of friends with decent technical jobs who met their wives in college. Their wives got four-year arts degrees, worked for a short period of time in low-paying jobs, then quit to have kids, then when the kids were in high school went to college for some practical pink-collar trade to bring in extra money for the family.

    I’ve asked a couple of them how much of their wife’s student debt (initial and second-run) they’ve paid off over the course of the marriage, and what their standard of living would be like today if instead they’d married someone fresh out of high school who wanted to start a family immediately.

    They generally change the subject very quickly.

  40. I have personally dealt with 4 close family deaths by lingering natural causes. (3 parents and a sister). In each case there were both “care facility” or “assisted living” or “rehab” or hospitals involved, in addition to home care with family.
    (And I speak for the US and California in particular, though I’d be surprised if it were much different in any western culture.)
    1. Even the very best paid care is deeply lacking in quality and robustness. All groups of paid carers simply have too much on their plate and too little investment in the subject person, who is inevitably transient.
    2. Navigating the governmental support structures would be literally impossible for the old folks. It was always a difficult task even for family, and we are all STEM & Finance professionals. Those who fancy government as the ultimate solution simply cannot have had any experience dealing with it.
    3. Not every family member is going to step up when you need them. Some can’t for practical reasons, and some won’t for personal / emotional reasons. You better have multiple options if you are going to need family help (and you will).
    4. I too am a sailor…

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