In old age something special happens to reality. Its hardness is softened by the experience of transitoriness. Persons who once seemed indispensable die. One after another disappears — parents, teachers, onetime superiors first, contemporaries next.
One has the feeling that a former generation has come to an end and that the following, one’s own, is beginning to crumble…
The danger in which aging men and women find themselves is that of capitulating to transitoriness, of having no more future, of living in their memories, of giving in to an existence which is ever more growing empty, of clinging to the fortuitous, of growing weak and tyrannical and at the same time powerless and helpless.”
From “The Meaning of Old Age,” by Romano Guardini