Jiroemon Kimura, oldest man in history, dies at 116 | The Japan Times
This makes me sad. Longevity is an interest of mine. Whenever somebody hits the century mark, I feel inclined to congratulate him or her. Mr. Kimura managed an extra 16 years past that fabulous mark and I always felt there was something beautiful about his face whenever he showed up in the news. Maybe he reminded me of my own father, who considered himself an old man before he was 50 and left us far too soon.
Records should be broken, even this one. The tragic aspect is, in order for someone to become the oldest person in the world, the previous record-holder has to die. So I picture this as a line of centenarians waiting patiently for the one at the head of the line to pass away. Then they all move up. Some fall before taking their place in the record books. I don't aspire to this position myself, but I'm always going to be fascinated by people who beat the actuarial tables if not the Reaper.
Goodbye, Mr. Kimura. Congratulations on such a long life. I hope it contained more happiness than sadness.