It’s time for me to go, he said. I was nagging him about getting some exercise. Just a walk around the block. I’ve lived long enough, he said. He’d been sleeping hours during the day after a full night of sleep. A slow gait in slippers, to the cupboard for soup or tea and back to the television set. Couch lounging, intermittent reading, then back to bed under a throw blanket in front of another TV set. This is a man who doesn’t feel good but, in my estimation, aging is a new planet with an atmosphere of discomfort. The doctors said the diabetes was borderline, with diet and exercise, manageable. Depression, on the other hand, is unmanageable. It hides and if it is manageable, it isn’t depression. What a weak word for a devastating state. I alter my approach from nag to empathy. It only makes matters worse. I should know that. I’ve been where he is, as I cusp in and out of that purgatory and continue forward only because society doesn’t allow people to give up until at least age 70. He is 74, about to set himself free of the societal demand to endure. We barely recognize the exam…. pass or fail… We all want permission to enter hell or heaven with an honorable death after an impossible fight. – A man in slippers, a widower, sipping tea. He doesn’t need encouragement, judgement or empathy. He needs space in his mind and heart to conclude as he sees fit. To be left alone with his innate intelligence. I’ve had enough, he says, and who am I to argue?