Heading into my golden years, I have one bad knee, two good daughters and 836 names in my iPhone address book. Of the latter, 246 are people I have not seen or spoken to in at least 10 years. Thirty-nine are a total mystery to me — I have no idea who they are.
Seventeen are dead.
Clearly, I am due for some housekeeping. The mystery names I can eliminate without a thought. Why keep them around just to remind myself that I am losing my memory, the one thing I do not need to be reminded of? I know I should erase as well the entries for those I haven’t seen for a decade or more, but my finger hesitates over the delete key. I mean, who knows? What if I suddenly have an article idea to pitch to a magazine editor I haven’t seen since 1986 (in the unlikely event both magazine and editor still exist)? Or, if I ever get divorced (speaking strictly hypothetically here, Dear), would I want to call the woman I took to see “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”? But those are the easy questions. The harder one: What to do about the dead?