There was an old man who lived in Bulgaria. I was told the following story by a relative of this individual. This old man was over a hundred years old. He lived in a small village in the mountains and was favored with a very long life. I was told he enjoyed making walnut oil from walnut trees grown on his property. He lived by himself as his wife had died a while ago and he outlived all his friends. Only his younger sister was still alive. That family was blessed with a long life.
Yet long life may not be such the treasure it seems. All his friends from his past were gone. He had other relatives, but they were off elsewhere living their own lives. He made his walnut oil but even that lost its appeal.
One day he visited his sister, and told her he was tired of life. He had gone on too long and everyone he knew was gone. He told his sister he decided to die. He had enough of life. It was his time to go. He departed for his home.
The next day he died peacefully in his bed.
When I was told his story I thought it was terribly sad. Could someone really become so weary of life he would choose to pass away? But then we haven’t lived in is shoes. Imagine everybody you knew was gone and you were all alone. At his age what is the point of life if not to be with friends and relatives?
How did this hundred-year-old man will himself to die? I have no idea except maybe he just gave up. His will to live was gone. He may have gone to sleep and chose not to awaken. This suggests we have the will to live or die and it is as much mental as physical. I wish this old man well with his wife and friends in the afterlife.
I thought of the tarot card called the Hermit. It shows an old man with a lantern looking into the past. The face of the hermit is facing left, which represents the past. Looking to the right symbolizes the future (just as we read text from left to right). If we only look into the past, then life is pretty much over. I know old people whose glory days were in the past, and ignore the present let alone the future. We all know old people similar to this who reminisce about the old days and never a thing about the future.
Just because we are old doesn’t mean we don’t have a future, even if it will be brief. I also know old people who don’t live in the past. They are engaged in the present. I rarely hear these oldsters reminisce but instead chat about current events and what is happening now. These older people are fun to talk with and offer a lot of wisdom from a lifetime of experience. As we grow old, we need to retain our curiosity and be engaged with the world. Old is a state of mind. That is my interpertation of the Hermit tarot card.