Dead at age 112; How long is long enough?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to live until I am a hundred years old. Back then, it seemed like a grand accomplishment, and, to me, it still feels that way today. Sure, I still dream of being a 100, but today, I know that living is not always living. Nowadays, I still want to live for as long as I can. Maybe even break a record, or something. But aside from living, I would also like to be ALIVE then. Mentally and physically active. Yes, I have been told how demanding I can be.

One who was believed to be the oldest man in the US, as well as the oldest World War II US veteran, died this week. He was a hundred and twelve. Cigars and whiskey were the things that he claimed gave him such a long life. And yes, he was still alive well into his 100s. He even drove widows from the neighborhood to church. (The article does not state his marital status, but I choose to think that he was doing that out of the goodness of his heart, and not to construct a real life version of Tinder for himself.)

It is interesting to see where the oldest people in the world come from, because it makes you think of the lifestyle they led, and maybe have you try imitate it. The government of Japan claims that there are approximately 68 THOUSAND people over the age of 100 in their country.

I found a great image that compiles a lot of interesting facts regarding centennials (those that live 100 years, or more). I am not sure when the data was compiled, but I know it must have been before April of 2018, because that is when Nabi Tajima died (not reflected in the image). Whether it is outdated a bit, or not, it still holds crucial info for those, who are determined to prolong their lives. It is a bit to my surprise, that so many of those who live the longest are people in the US.

100 Oldest Verified People and what we can Learn From Them

There are people, who claim to have lived for longer than 122 years, but their claims are hard to prove. Record breaking age is only recognized when detailed proof of life is being presented. A man, from Indonesia, who died last year, is said to have been 146 years old has not been verified as the oldest man. In Indonesia, births were not formally recorded before the year of 1900, which means that any claim to being born before that, cannot be verified. A Nigerian, and a man from Ethiopia claim to have lived over 170 and 160 respectively, but again, that remains a mere speculation without any supporting evidence.

The oldest person alive is currently Kane Tanaka, who will be 116 on the second of January.

This year, an average worldwide life expectancy was 70 years for males and 74 years for females.

There is a pretty neat set of tables reflecting the oldest people ever/ alive, sorted by country on Wikipedia. Check it out here for more research.

How long would you like to live?

What are your conditions for living for as long as you want?

Are you in awe of those who live considerably longer than others in their societies?

Do you think centennials deserve medals/ honoring ceremonies?

What is YOUR secret to a long and healthy life?

Do you believe in smoking a lot like some of those centennials?

Stay golden,



Did you enjoy reading this post? Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic? Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog? Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader? Try SUBSCRIBING.

60 thoughts on “Dead at age 112; How long is long enough?

Add yours

  1. A Nigerian who supposedly lived over 170 years? Why do I find that hard to believe? 😂
    I don’t think I would love to live longer than 120 years, unless perhaps there are still one or two things left for me to achieve. But when I remember how my grandma died, sometimes I wish I would just die at ninety-something.

    My grandma had a stroke. It was so bad that, at some point, I was silently praying she would just die and find the peace she so much deserved. The stroke tormented her for five years until she gave up fighting it and embraced death.

    Most people here don’t live too long because of one health complication or another. That’s why I doubt if any Nigerian can truly live longer than 170 years.

    And I don’t think smoking prolongs anyone’s life. I’ve warned my dad several times that if he dies younger than I want him to simply because of his smoking habit, I won’t feel remorseful. Sure, that’s a lie, but he doesn’t know that.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was wondering what your outlook would be, especially because you are close to the source. Interesting to hear that you don’t think someone from Nigeria can live that long. I thought it would be more possible than for an American (with all the chemicals pumped into our food). But I can totally understand the health issues and complications. I have seen different people go through the same health issues in the USA, as well as other countries. As far as I know, the US DOES have great healthcare (the doctors part). That’s why most of those who live the longest comes from this country. The advances are truly great. But being “alive” via a machine isn’t the same as being alive in Japan, and drinking sake.

      Funny that you mention your father and smoking. The smokers around me seem to outlive those who are health freaks. So weird.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I suppose I do. Erm, I don’t smoke, and I’m strictly teetotal. I’m also very mindful of the things I eat and drink – I don’t eat sugary foods.

        I know I don’t exercise much but that will definitely change next year. 😁

        So yeah! I think I live a healthy life.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi! Brilliant topic! I would love to be a centennial 100% physically and mentally alive, but for the time being what prevents me from this age is stress, lack of sport, lack of regular eating and lack of sufficient sleep. How are you preparing yourself live up to this age? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been working on sleeping more, and I think I’ve been mostly successful. Personally, I consider sleep to be the best (and cheapest) cure for anything (exaggeration, but still). I think that if I can continue sleeping the way I do now, I should be better off than those who don’t.
      My diet is more balanced than it used to be. It’s not perfect. I’m not a health freak, either, so I don’t ban myself from eating gluten, sugar, or carbs. I think that eating everything in moderation does not hurt.
      The sport aspect is something I will work on next year. I used to be a lot more active. Now, I mostly swim, walk and bike. But I would like to pick something up that will make my heart race a bit.

      When do you plan to enforce changes? What is holding you back?


      1. I think what is holding me back is bad habits. I try to change something, but then an old habit comes in and destroys all my effort. I believe as well that it’s all about a firm decision. I would love to fall asleep at 10 PM, but I like too much staying late at night. I would love to eat regularly, but it’s time-consuming to arrange shopping, cooking and eating slowly. I would love to be well hydrated, but then running to the toilet every 5 min at work drives me crazy. It’s hard to persevere for a long time with a new habit…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I cannot say I don’t understand what you’re talking about. I’ve struggled with going to sleep at a reasonable hour for as long as I can remember. I have recently (the past few months) managed to start going to bed 15-30 mins earlier. It’s not much. Took forever. But maybe it’s worth it? Being a zombie in the morning (I am, anyway) is not fun.


    1. Thank you for stopping by, reading, and sharing your experience. I think it’s kind of cool that they get treated like celebrities for a minute.
      If you were to live that long – Would you not mind the publicity?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s gotta be wild to live so long. I wonder, how much they can recall? Hopefully their lives are filled with love and joy. I couldn’t imagine living so long, just to be filled with pain and regret.

    I wonder, at what age does a person throw caution to the wind and really start living? Is it 70, 80 maybe 90, possibly 100.

    If you make it past 100, do you watch out or do you say f-it and go for gusto?

    Either way, I’d love to do a podcast with all of them and hear their incredible and long stories.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are absolutely right – living so long with negative feelings must be torturous. I know someone who is in their mid 90s, and they keep talking about how terrible life is. They have been preparing for death for decades. It does sadden me. I keep telling them to enjoy life, but I don’t know how I’d act in their shoes.

      That’s the thing – We just keep on living, forgetting to actually live. When does it slow down is a great question. I wonder that, too.

      At such an old age you have got to be dependent on others, so I don’t think saying “fck it” is really an option. But it depends who you are surrounded by.

      That’d be a rad podcast.

      Do you do anything to live for as long as you can?

      Liked by 1 person

            1. As long as you take care of yourself, too, then it should be alright. Some people get so focused on others that they forget about themselves and fall apart.
              But if you have someone to take care of you, while you take care of them, that’s the best case scenario.

              Liked by 2 people

  4. My aim is to enjoy at least 10 years of my pension in good heatlh, mentally and physically. And of course with Jasper.
    Anything after that, I am fine with leaving.

    Not to sound depressed, but living your life with any illness is not worth it for me.
    Includes mental illness.

    These days I don’t know what can be considered healthy.
    People say to eat your fruits and vegs, but honestly none of that is real. How much vitamins are left due to all the modifications they do.
    And smoking should be bad for you?? Apparently not??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s what frightens me a bit. People often work (because they have to, or because they are workaholics) for too long. They die before they can retire and enjoy life. It’s sad and terrifying. But how do you know when it’s the time to throw in the towel. It’s like a lottery that you keep playing in hopes to win more $$, but then suddenly, you fall through the floor.

      Like I told Obi in my reply to his comment – the smokers I know outlive others. And the sources I found confirm that. That’s why I never followed health trends. I do what feels right to me and my body. I don’t believe in miracle cures.

      And we agree, that feeling miserable (mentally, or physically) destroys the whole thing.

      What is the retiring age in Denmark?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess that differs in different cultures. Danes are not following the workaholic trend. I think I can confirm that considering I am for the 2nd time here. I have not seen anyone sitting in the office after 4:30 (They do start between 7 and 7:30). And the salary is fair here.

        Retiring age in Denmark?
        The right answer is “I don’t care, because I won’t be here 😉 “, but I think it’s 67.

        I have to agree with you about the death trends. I think it’s all about being unlucky.
        I know people that have lived very healthy and end up having brain cancer.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I know Denmark isn’t your final destination, but I was curious. It seems like 67 is prevalent across Europe.

          Most definitely. It’s heartbreaking to see good people, who live “healthily” go…


            1. Technically, you can retire when you’re 62. However, to get full benefits (depending on which year you were born in) you should probably wait until 67 (early retirement, less money). They recommend you wait until you’re 70 to get more $$ benefits.


              1. I guess you can retire earlier here too, but indeed, less money. To be honest, I don’t if working longer for more money is necesarily worth it.
                I am definitely trying to safe money each month, exactly for this reason.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Can you imagine if you could retire at 62, but you decide to work juuuust a little bit longer, and before you know it, you’re 67. And then, it’s only 3 years until 70. Your grandchild wants to go to college, but they need more money for tuition, so you decide to work for 3 more years. And then two years later, you die. And leave no money and no you…


                  1. That does sound like the reality of life.
                    However, I don’t think I would feel responsible for my grandchildren. If I raise their parents up correctly, they can take care of that 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. I know a person who had recently become a grandparent (well, a couple years ago), and… the kid already has more money in the bank than I do. Not from the parents, but from the grandparents. I guess it depends on how much money you have to give.


                    2. Some 9 year old’s are more rich than you and me together.
                      I guess that’s just lucky.

                      I have heard a lot of break ups within family due to grand parents dying and then it ends up in a big discussions about who gets their money and stuff.
                      In a way, I am happy that my parents don’t have much.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think quality of life is more important than quantity or longevity. If I do live a long time quality of life would mean things like having a purpose, having the abilities to do what I need/want to do and having people in my life that love me.
    I don’t think that smoking contributed to their longevity but nowadays combined with many other environmental factors (chemicals that we breath, eat and put on our skin) it is probably more deadly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly that. I feel like in today’s world we are being poisoned left and right, which takes the controllers out of our hands.

      You are definitely right about the quality of life. Have I had a satisfactory life until now? Yes. Would I be sad to not have enough time to do more? Of course.

      Do you think there will always be a want to do “more” in life?


      1. I had to think about this for a while – I would like to think that I would always want to do more and at this point there are a lot of things I still want to do. I do think there are things that can change that – loss of purpose (things like retirement and kids moving away), death of spouse and peers, and loss of dignity (not being able to make decisions and care for ourselves) would be examples.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. How long would you like to live? As long as I can.

    What are your conditions for living for as long as you want? Still see new things, read new things, do more puzzles, sing/play music.

    Are you in awe of those who live considerably longer than others in their societies? Absolutely!

    Do you think centennials deserve medals/ honoring ceremonies? Doesn’t Al Roker do that? He congratulates centenarians on the Today Show.

    What is YOUR secret to a long and healthy life? Not dying?

    Do you believe in smoking a lot like some of those centennials? Ew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I burst out laughing your secret to a long and healthy life. Spot on. Well done.

      Your conditions are applicable to me, too. Indeed. (Well, aside from the singing and playing music. I’m not good at that.)

      Have you ever met someone over 100 years old?


      1. Actually, I knew a couple of centenarians. They loved the no-holds-barred humor. I got notes from conversations with them…this was before Iphones. I heard about rationing in WWII, and life before cars, and talking on party lines. I heard their stories about their ancestors and their friends too. I could visit with them any time! Both were in assisted living centers and they gave the van drivers no end of grief! He took it with a grin and gave as good as he got. One lady was into jig saw puzzles and the other one was into crossword puzzles. They were hilarious together.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I want to live for as long as I am able. It’s not worth it to me if I don’t have my mind, or if I am unable to move and to do the things I enjoy doing. I want to really live, for as long as I can, but not if I can no longer do so, or if I become a burden to others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is definitely very wise. Just the other day I was thinking about amazing people who die young. It’s such a loss. But then again, I smile thinking of them.
      I’d like to be happy and fulfilled and live a long time, but if I cannot have both, then the choice is obvious.
      How’s your leg?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. At first like you I used to think I wanted to until I was 100 but then after watching my grand-grandmother live until she was 105 and my grandma pass her 90s.. I’m not so sure. the quality of their lives wasn’t great. Very interesting post Goldy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It wasn’t that wasn’t glamorous it was that they suffered dementia and weren’t really connected to the world anymore and were very weak and sick and suffered quite some 😞 so I often wonder if it’s better to die before deteriorating that much. Thought provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’d like to live to be very old but I don’t really have a figure in mind, however my worry is that at such an age there are lot of health issues and I’m not sure if life is really fun anymore. Yes any Centennial deserves an award cause it’s not easy. Thanks for the delightful Read.

    Liked by 1 person

Hmm? What did you say? I did not hear ya.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Website Built with

Up ↑

Ellie Thompson

Poetry, Musings and Memoirs - True Tales of My Life

The Literary Serenity Archives

Creative Writing Reflections, Stories about Stories, and Feel-Good Pieces

Roars and Echoes

Where the power of my thoughts comes from the craft of writing.

%d bloggers like this: