Forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek said something on NPR that resonated with me. The author of Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, And The Making Of A Medical Examiner was being interviewed on Sunday’s All Things Considered.
The more you know about death, actually, it demystifies it. I just realized staying alive is mostly common sense. If you are smoking, stop; if you haven’t started, don’t start. Stay healthy, get exercise. That yellow line on the subway, it’s there for a reason — stay away from that. Look both ways before you cross the streets. The majority of deaths I saw were mundane. Just by standard health and safety behaviors, we can avoid them.
I thought of Dr. Bill Bass, who will turn 86 on August 30. When I have dinner with him, he always controls his portions. He doesn’t smoke and I’ve never seen him drink anything stronger than iced tea.
I also thought of my own personal motivation to live longer than my father did. I try to stay healthy by doing some things he didn’t and avoiding some of the things he did.
I added Melinek’s book to my Amazon wish list. I found her blog, which will give me plenty to read until I get her book.