Kit Carson, the famous Indian scout was feeling his age so he went to see his doctor. The doctor examined him thoroughly, put on his compassionate face and said, "Well, Colonel Carson, your heart is in a bad way, but if you leave off the strong drink and the red meat you could well live for several more years."
Carson thanked the doctor and paid him, then toddled off back to his hotel and ordered up a buffalo steak and a pint of whiskey.
The moral is whatever you want it to be but I've always taken it to mean that there are worse things than dying...
(When I was a kid I owned Kit Carson's Wild West Annual for 1958. I came across a copy in a junk shop recently and wondered about buying it but decided not to because really it's complete piffle. 1950s Carson is a clean shaven, rock-jawed, blond giant in a buckskin shirt with fringes but the actual Carson was a little, sandy-haired chap. In his youth he'd been an Indian fighter and scalp-taker but as he matured he came round to seeing the point of view of the first nations and his last significant action was to travel up to Washington DC in company with a number of Ute chiefs to plead their cause with the government.)