“After we passed our eightieth birthdays, we had to admit that the days of our autumn had arrived. We had lived together long lives of interest and adventure; in many ways we knew they were complete. Younger folk were coming along to take our places. Life was good and we still enjoyed it; but we recognised that each day was a bonus, to be accepted with grateful thanks. As the fires of life sank lower, we knew that the bonus days must end, and the life-long partnership must close. When after increasing weakness the time came for my wife to leave us, grief was lost in the joy of a life well lived and thankfulness for the many years it had been shared with mine.”
William G Sewell, 1982
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
A. E. Housman