Norman Lear on Turning 98: 'I'm Not Concerned About the Going, I Just Don't Like the Leaving'

The famed television writer and producer celebrated his birthday with his wife, kids and grandkids

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Norman Lear kicked off his 98th birthday with a moment of important self-reflection.

The prolific television writer and producer marked the milestone on Monday, and on Wednesday shared with his Instagram followers a video in which he opened up about life and the passing of time. (He said he opted not to post it on Tuesday, so as not to "muddle with the excitement" of the Emmy nominations.)

"Good morning! So this is the day after my 98th birthday," he began. "It was my birthday yesterday. I'm into my 99th year, and it feels remarkably like my 98th year, which felt remarkably like my 89th year. I don't know, it's all the same."

"I can't help, however, realizing I'm closer to that time when goodbyes are in order, I realize I'm not concerned about the going, I just don't like the leaving," he admitted. "And yesterday so solidified that, because I was with all my six kids and grandkids, and surrounded by all the love I receive, all the love I feel."

"Leaving is hard. The thought of leaving is hard," he added. "But the adventure of going remains to be seen. I'll get back to you."

Lear, best known for creating groundbreaking comedy series such as All in the Family, The Jeffersons and Good Times, celebrated his birthday in Vermont with his wife Lyn, his six children and his four grandchildren.

In a video posted on Monday, he called Vermont "the most priceless, glorious place I know," and a "second home for my entire family."

"My morning thought on my 98th birthday is where can I go out and dig a mind deep enough for the gratitude I feel, or how can I fly to reach a place that meets the deepest amount of gratitude I feel?" he said. "If you're watching this this long, I'm grateful to you for that, too. And my morning thought is ... each man is my superior, each woman also my superior, in that I may learn from him and her."

On Tuesday, he also celebrated the four Emmy nominations earned for ABC's Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: 'All In The Family' and 'Good Times.' The December special, which restaged Lear's sitcoms from the 1970s, is up for best variety special.

And his wife Lyn was also honored: The Great Hack, a Netflix documentary she executive-produced, is up for best documentary or nonfiction special.

"I have a lot to be grateful for," he said in a video. "With me also happens to be my wife, Lyn Lear, also nominated today for The Great Hack, a wonderful documentary. So we are the lucky Lears!"

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