Tag Archives: loss

Relocating to a Retirement Community: “Settling In”

I recently read Richard Morgan’s 2006 book Settling In: My First Year in a Retirement Community. At age 74, Morgan, a retired Presbyterian minister, moved from Morgantown, North Carolina to a retirement community in Western Pennsylvania. He and his wife … Continue reading

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Bloom Anyway

This spring, I planted sunflower seeds in my mom’s yard. I planted them in three places: in the backyard, alongside the driveway, and in a mostly-fenced garden area. The seedlings soon pushed their heads out of the dirt, then grew … Continue reading

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Life Changes Fast–Dealing With Sudden Bereavement

“Life Changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” So starts Joan Didion’s memoir The Year of Magical Thinking. She’s alluding to her husband John’s death from a massive heart attack … Continue reading

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“45 Years” and Past Selves

I caught a showing of the movie 45 Years over the weekend.  A couple–Kate (Charlotte Rampling) and Geoff (Tom Courtenay)–are preparing to celebrate 45 years of marriage when a letter related to Geoff’s past threatens to derail their relationship. The letter … Continue reading

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Physical Simplification, Part 3: Disability

I’ve been writing recently about physical simplification–the process of accepting and affirming rather than rejecting or resisting the physical changes that occur in us as we age. I wrote first about accepting changes in appearance, then about accepting changes in physical … Continue reading

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Loss and Simplification in Later Adulthood

In my last post, I introduced the idea that the main psychological task of late life is to mourn our losses. I ended by suggesting that such grieving does not mean that we older adults are constantly in a state … Continue reading

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What is the Primary Psychological Task of Late Adulthood?

Psychologists usually view human development as consisting of a series of tasks or issues, each of which must be dealt with in turn. Thus infancy is about learning to trust, adolescence about independence and identity, and early adulthood about intimacy. … Continue reading

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Midlife Grief, Late Life Happiness

I wrote earlier in my other blog about the cover story of the December, 2014 Atlantic on happiness in midlife. Jonathan Rauch, the author of the article, describes the “happiness U-curve,” a graph of data from numerous studies showing a … Continue reading

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The Week Before Dad Left

Dad went into the memory unit at Christian Rest Home a week ago. A week before that, it didn’t seem that admission was imminent. However, that previous Wednesday, my mom said for the first time, “I can’t do this anymore.” … Continue reading

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When Older Adults Think of the Dead

In a recent post about the unprocessed emotions that many older adults accumulate, I quoted a line by 93-year-old essayist Roger Angell to the effect that advanced age provides plenty of opportunities for bad news. Angell also describes his experiences with loss; in this post … Continue reading

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