Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

The Terrifying Moment of Middle Age

It all becomes uncomfortably clear and there’s nothing you can do

Pete Williams
3 min readMar 22


When you’re young, you feel as though you’ll live forever…

Oh sure, you know death is a thing on an intellectual level, but it’s not something you really feel or contemplate as something that will happen. It’s just something that happens to old people, and because time moves so slowly for you, it’s not on your radar.

But then you hit your forties, and everything starts to change.

One day you look at your child/ren and are shocked at how much they’ve grown. At how they don’t have that chubby cuteness in their face anymore. You’ll realise that they’ve been zooming through school and find it incomprehensible that they’re shortly going off to high school. They’ll be a teenager in just a couple more years.

Then you look the other way and see your parents.

Those people that’ve been there all your life, they’ve firmly stepped from late middle-aged to proper old age. The colour is almost gone from their hair. The wrinkles you didn’t really notice before are prominent. They might’ve had a couple of medical scares and probably minor surgeries.

Life comes at you fast…

You reach the point where you realise you don’t have all the time in the world anymore. You can’t take it for granted. And while you might be lucky and see them live another 15–25 years, they’re definitely at the age where every year is now a gift and you actually have to consider the inevitable.

That’s a tough pill to swallow on its own.

So there you find yourself, sandwiched between two generations who show you very clearly the relentless march of time. And no matter how young you might still feel, you now see him…

He’s just a speck at this point, far off in the distance. So distant that you could act like he’s not there, but it’s pointless, because now, now you’re marked. And you know it.

The grim reaper, however far away he might be, has now entered your cozy little universe and is looking directly at you.



Pete Williams

Author, occasional ranter. Athlete and soldier in a previous life. 15x Top Writer on my mom’s fridge.