My husband has been away this last couple of weeks. I thought it was high time I captured him in lino. So here is a portrait. Here he is reading, he has his glasses on and at the time of sketching, he was preparing for a talk he was to give in Canada on an issue relating to death, dying and bereavement. The topic relates to those issues likely to arise in the field of thanatology* in the future –  in a world when those of us born after 2012 are likely to have life expectancies of between 130 and 140 years of age (centenarians and super centenarians). Hard to contemplate isn’t it!

I can’t help but think our society is not keeping pace with human development or life expectancy: unemployment, retirement age, pensions, euthanasia etc. For instance, in the Netherlands in the 1950s the median age of the population was 28. In 2050 the median age is predicted to be 46.8 years of age.

On 1 October 2014, there were nearly 2.2 thousand people in the Netherlands aged 100 years or older, i.e. more than twice as many as on 1 January 2000. Statistics Netherlands state that the number of centenarians is likely to have doubled by 2025. Together with over-90s, centenarians are the fastest growing age group in Dutch society.   In Spain, France, Italy and Greece, the ratio is more than twice as high – so 200 centenarians per every million residents.

An interesting topic to grapple with. I’m sure that upon searching comparable statistics in your own country, the results will surprise you.

If you’re interested to see the list of super centenarians in the Netherlands check out this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dutch_supercentenarians

A super centenarian is someone who has reached the ripe old age of 110 or older. Thanatology is the scientific study of death and the practices associated with it, including the study of the needs of the terminally ill and their families.

Herman enjoy your portrait, if you’re watching.




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