Aging is not merely about becoming older, it is about becoming more fully human. The essence of aging is biological and physical. However, aging also has psychological, spiritual, cultural, and environmental dimensions that influence and shape our course in life. To explore aging is to venture out into the liminal frontiers what can be known, felt, and lived.
The second half of life is a new frontier in the story of human longevity. People around the world are living longer than any other time in history. A global age wave is sweeping across the planet that is changing the fabric of societies worldwide. And yet, we really don’t know what we should do with this additional time. We do not have a shared vision of what living a life worth living means in the second half of life.
The Liminal Frontiers of Aging is about creatively grappling with age-related difficulties and challenges. Aging never leaves us alone. It is a medium, an inescapable total surround, that permeates every moment of our lives. It conjures haunting forms of liminality.The purpose of this project is to seek clarity, insight, meaning, inspiration, and wisdom from the direct felt experience of aging.
2. On the Loss of My Parents
My interest in aging originates in the experiences I encountered in helping my parents through the final years of their lives. They both died at an advanced age from complications arising from normal aging.
I wrote the series, “On the Loss of My Parents” as part of my ongoing practice of transformative writing, or using writing as a means to grapple with the difficulties of life to cultivate a greater sense of personal wellbeing. My work as a writer presumes that creativity is our most important resources in finding our way through the vicissitudes of life.
- On the Loss of My Parents: 1) Leaving Home
- On the Loss of My Parents: 2) A Loss of Independence
- On the Loss of My Parents: 3) In the Midst of Death
- On the Loss of My Parents: 4) Saying Goodbye
- On the Loss of My Parents: 5) Absence
- On the Loss of My Parents: 6) The Feeling of Grief
- On the Loss of My Parents: 7) Their Legacy for Life
- On the Loss of My Parents: 8) The Spirituality of Loss
These articles are examples of transformative writing, that is, writing to promote healing and self-renewal.
3. Contents: The Five Frontiers of Aging
The Aging Body
The Aging Body is an exploration of embodiment, and the experience of inhabiting a biological vessel subject to change, transience, and impermanence.
- Age-Related Disease: Will I Develop a Chronic Illness?
- Aging: A Reluctant Apprenticeship in Vulnerability
- Becoming Old: Reclaiming Old Age
- Bodymind: Aging as the Biology of Communication
- Life Expectancy: How long can I expect to live?
- Life Expectancy: How Long Will My Health Last?”
- Longevity: Living a Long Life
- Living Old: Can We Live Past Our Time?
- The Major Challenges of Aging
- Normal Aging: What Can I Expect?
- On Old Age: Cicero and the Challenges of Aging
Mindful Aging explores the direct felt experience of aging.
- The Art of Memory: Reclaiming Our Past
- Death Phobia and Grief Illiteracy
- The Face of Our Death
- Our Fear of Aging
- Fond Memories: Those Were the Days My Friend
- The Grieving Process
- I May Die Today
- Memory Loss: Aging, Dementia, and the Evanescence of Mind
- Mindful Learning: A Lifetime Companion
- Mindful Memories: Cultivating a Compassionate Relationship with the Past
- One Day You Will Be A Memory
- Painful Memories: Accommodating Our Wounds
- Regrets of the Dying: Lessons for Living a Life Worth Living
Spirituality of Aging
The Spirituality of Aging explores ways of orienting ourselves to the difficulties of aging, including, loss, grief, depression, disease, dying, and death.
- Aging Gracefully: The Art of Acceptance
- Bereavement: A Conversation with Grief
- The Face of Our Death: Envisioning the End of Our Life
- Impermanence: The Fragility of Life
- Loss: A Fierce Truth From Which There Is No Retreat
- Old Age and the Inner Harvest: The Culmination of Our Life
- Our Legacy in Life: Leaving Something of Value Behind
- The Essence of Work: Seeking Potential in the Second Half of Life
- Self-Compassion: Haunted by Thoughts of Mortality
- The Spiritual Landscape of Grief: Time Heals Nothing at All
- Surrender: Becoming Fully Human
- Right to Die: When is it better the die than continue living?
Aging in Society
Aging in Society explores the cultural context of aging and the need for a shared vision of aging.
- Ageism: A Collective Failure
- Aging and Work: From Money to Meaning
- Anti-Aging: Does it Exist?
- Anti-Aging: In Search of Beauty
- Creative Aging: Life as Art
- Milestone: Becoming a Grandfather
- Milestones: My Daughter’s Wedding
- Milestones: Retirement – From Work to Vocation
- Milestones: When Can I Retire?
- Social Media and Aging: Tweets from a Mother’s Deathbed
- Successful Aging: The Lifelong Pursuit of Wellbeing
Aging and the Environment
Aging and the Environment is a journey into age-related events, situations, milestones, encounters, thresholds, points of no return, and liminal frontiers that alter our course of life.
- A Good Death: How do You Want to Die?
- Aging: Our Life in Time
- Belonging: The Nature of Aging
- Elderhood: From Aging to Sage-ing
- The Human Age: Abnormal Aging in a Manufactured World
- The Liminal Frontiers of Aging: Moving Through Points of No Return
- The Midlife Crisis: Is This All There Is?
- The Midlife Passage: Surrendering Our Youth
- The Place of Our Death: Our Last Place on Earth
- Resilience: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life
- Aging and the Great Flow of Life
- The Second Half of Life: A Mysterious and Unfamiliar Terrain
- The Time of Our Death: Our Last Moment of Life