The age of 69 scares me: Is it the new 27 club?


I have a few more decades before I hit the age of 69. However, it scares me. Just this past week both David Bowie and Alan Rickman (Professor Snape) died from cancer at the age of 69. Ok. Truth be told, cancer also scares me. I truly hope that Obama’s plan to attack cancer at a national level comes to fruition.  As someone in healthcare, I have seen cancer strike many blows to those around me. It is frightening. But back to age.


Nowadays life expectancy in the US rose in the year 2012 to 78.8 years – a record high.  For women it is actually 81.2 years. Sadly, my mother died at the age of 67 which I found to be way too young. We are supposed to be able to live longer and longer. All this data may even give us a false sense of being able to live forever. We think that, like George Bush, we can go skydiving at the age of 90 or rock the mike on a world stage like Mick jagger at the age of 73.   Of course, there is also the other end of the age spectrum that has spooked people.   In popular culture there is the notion of the “27 club”.  Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones all died at the age of 27. Supposedly, 50 famous musicians have died at the age of 27. A bit spooky. Some scientists have noted that in terms of musicians there is an unusual spike in deaths at the age of 27. Of course, the social scientist in me, knows there are may confounding factors here such as access to guns, drugs and bad will.  It doesn’t stop groups like Fall Out Boy from singing about that spooky age of 27.  Growing up, I thought the age of 33 was scary. Both John Belushi and Chris Farley died at that age.


Now, the age of 69 looms scary. I suppose 69 is better than belonging to the 27 club and I suppose this is all part of the January blues.  January tends to be a month of grand depression as we rapidly realize that our resolutions have already gone to the waste side and there are still 11 more months until the end of the year when you can next take vacation.  Oh, the January blues.





9 replies »

  1. Dont be intimidated by mere numbers. All that’s in your head. Just some words from one psychologist to another. BTW i hear that the mean life expectancy of a baby born now will be 100 years. Good post 🙂


  2. I suppose you can choose any number and suddenly it becomes significant in ways you never noticed before. That said, there does seem to be something strange about 27. At least, that’s what *I* notice!


  3. Since I’m turning 68 in April, and have had some serious medical misadventures, those recent deaths did give me pause. However, this poem that I wrote last year still applies to my attitude: Most of My life Lies Behind Me

    Wow me not with verbotechnics
    Summer gardens work just fine
    Gladioli shock the clerics –
    Delicate but so divine

    Star magnolias fill the air with
    Suntan lotion’s thick perfume
    Then I’m thanking Heaven’s goldsmith
    When the air is filled with June.

    I feel old when nests remind me
    I don’t have much future here
    Most of my life lies behind me;
    Still I call the summer dear.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thoughts of mortality do tend to visit in the winter-time…and it doesn’t help having a January birthday! Since a few extended relatives have recently died in their early 90’s, I’ve decided to focus on that as “The Age”, and see the 69 year-olds as exceptions. In the meantime, looking forward to a February vacation in the sun…


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