Such a grief, it seems to me, is proof of a good, or at least an agreeable, life, and ought therefore to be something for which one is grateful provided, of course, that one has not been cut off untimely, and I know that my brother agreed with me that once past eighty one has no right to complain about dying, because he said so. I guess that if I am given the time for it, I too shall feel at least a little of it, and hope to remember that it is simply what one has to pay for what one has enjoyed.
Excerpted from Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill. Copyright © 2009 by Diana Athill. Excerpted by permission of Norton. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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