Before the Fall
Wilhelmina ‘Mientje’ Schouten, Albert Siebeler, Shirley Zussman, Fauja Singh and Ephraim Engleman; they are all older than a 100 years. Each one of them has a strong personality, a great zest for life and often a turbulent past. ‘Mientje’ is a fan of Ajax, follows every game and is even present at games in the Arena (the Ajax stadium) from time to time. Former KNIL (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army) soldier Albert Siebeler recently entered his 100th year in a dancing fashion. Sexologist Shirley Zussman still coaches couples in intimate intercourse. Fauja Singh discovered running after his 89th birthday. Since then he has slowed down a bit, but he still walks through large parts of London every day. Furthermore, according to rheumatologist Dr. Ephraim Engleman, one of the most important tips for a long life is: “Of course it’s a matter of living a happy life, but the most important thing is to keep breathing. This is the most important condition for a long life.”
Although death is breathing down their necks, our centenarians seem happy and not at all scared. Does the fear of death decrease the older you get? After all, if there’s a high likelihood of dying in the near future, doesn’t the true meaning of life become taking pleasure in what life has to offer?