You are going to die

Word count: 275 words

Reading time: About 1 minute

A great way to improve your writing skills is to emulate the work of others. That’s why, every week, I present a sentence that I’d happily imitate. Today’s comes from Tim Kreider.

I don’t have a subscription to the online New York Times, although I have been thinking of getting one. Fortunately for me, their so-called “paywall” is a bit drafty so you can read 10 articles per month at no charge. And, I think, if an article is forwarded to you by a friend or a link, it doesn’t even count as one of the 10.

A colleague recently sent me an online commentary piece and on it I found a link so intriguing I just had to click. The link said: You are going to die. I guessed, correctly, that this would be a meditation on death — a topic seldom addressed by mainstream media. The piece was written by Tim Kreider, a writer and cartoonist I’ve written about before.

I like the way Kreider is able to articulate feelings about which we so seldom speak. He describes his sadness as his mother announces she’s going to move into assisted living. And he articulates a feeling so cockeyed, so ungainly and so ludicrous that all I could do was nod in recognition:

I hadn’t realized, until I was forcibly divested of it, that I’d been harboring the idea that someday, when this whole crazy adventure was over, I would at some point be nine again, sitting around the dinner table with Mom and Dad and my sister. 

Don’t most of you feel that way? 

Scroll to Top