Cremation and Religiosity

Richard G. Dumont

Being diagnosed with severe emphysema, as I was recently, has a way of focusing one’s thoughts on the reality of personal mortality. To the extent that WebMD can be considered reliable, I have about a 55 to 60 percent chance of still being alive in four years. Needless to say, these odds are better than 50 percent or less, and I plan to use my remaining time wisely—in contrast to my teen years and early adulthood, when cigarettes were an integral component of my daily life. When I quit in 1974 after some twenty years of smoking, I had acquired a two- to three-pack-a-day habit.

Table 1. Average Life Expectancies 1970 and 2010

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