I realize that,first of all, these people imagine my brother to be sixty or over...surely they wouldn't say such a thing if they knew he was fifty?!
And in our culture (I am talking mainly of the Tambram community to which I , and both friends who made that observation, belong) we are conditioned to think of anyone over fifty as "old"....so perhaps, death is easier for them to accept.
I am 53, will be turning 54 in a couple of months...but as long as I am in good health and enjoying life so much, I don't feel "old" at all. I am very lucky that I am able to relate to people irrespective of their age or mine; I can have equally long and interesting conversations/ spend a lot of time with my 10-year old neighbour or my dad's friend who is 87....it's their personalities I interact with. It's a great gift, and I am grateful for it.
Age brings so many gifts, too. There is an acceptance of one's physical appearance, of one's capabilities and faults, which is NOT there at a younger age when one knows one can improve oneself in many ways. The majority of one's social and family obligations have been carried out. I have been able to get interested in a whole variety of new things, and the learning carries on. I have (I hope!) become more tolerant of people, and am trying constantly shed the judgmental (alas, typically Tambram!) I-am-morally-superior-to-everyone attitude that I find difficult to accept in others. I am still not able to control my temper or my emotions, but I am a little better than I used to be. The journey to conquering myself will continue, but I am able to look back and see that I *have* made some progress (I sound so superior and prissy myself now!)
But...I am not ready to retire into a corner and get my dentures fitted and wither away slowly. I have just as much zest for life today as I had when I was 20, and probably am enjoying it more, having come to terms with more than I had back then.
And I want my near and dear ones, *whatever* their age, to be healthy and happy too. No, I will NOT expect and be resigned to "losses". If they happen, I will have to deal with that; b Death may come to me and be dealt with, but I won't go in advance to Death and deal with it!
PS. these are only my opinions and thoughts; I don't expect others to always agree.