It was the year of saying goodbye.
In 2015, The Times began following six people age 85 and up, documenting their journeys through a stage of life that is often invisible.
Four were still alive at the start of 2019. Jonas Mekas, 96, began the year at home from the hospital, tired, hoping to finish a film he was making for a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. “Another year,” he said last New Year’s Day. “Hope it will be busy and productive.”
On Jan. 23, he asked his son, Sebastian, to sit him upright in a chair — a preparation, Sebastian said, for his spirit to go forward to the next adventure. He died at the small wooden table where he’d sat with so many friends.
Jonas was the last of the three men in the Times series. Of the three women, two also died in 2019. Both were 95.