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Age and illness: The great leveler

The photo of Osama bin Laden, looking old and gray, in the dingy room watching his old speeches on old tapes on a television screen reminds me of the times I've heard -- and read of -- people encountering a scary or mean person from their childhood who is now an old person and powerless.

They often wonder what they ever feared, now that the scary person is so pathetic.

Sometimes, older age is a great leveler. In bin Laden's case, indeed.

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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.