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Funeral Planning

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

Don’t stop reading; this is not about funeral homes and burial plans; it is about a new phase of life. Traditionally, sociologists talk about three major stages of life: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.  With the average lifespan increasing dramatically in the past centuries, we can now consider another phase, which is called Elderhood.  It may well be that this phase could last longer than childhood and adolescence combined.  This period of life creates many new questions. What will men and women do during this extended time of life?  Remember, not everyone will have this exceptional opportunity.  So, a number of truly blessed, exceptional adults have the honor and privilege of becoming Elders.  One has to be grateful for every birthday…no complaining!

I suggest that if adulthood (approximately 25 to 65) is primarily about financial planning, then Elderhood (70 to death) could be about funeral planning!  What will your loved ones say at your funeral?   Adulthood is about acquisitions, a time when we acquire things: marriage, homes, children, careers, bigger homes, money, and stuff.  Success is measured by what we procure. But in Elderhood, the shift should change. If adulthood is about acquiring, Elderhood is about dispersing.  We have the opportunity to move from the demands of success to a life of satisfaction, from comparisons to confidence, from saving to giving, and from fear to freedom. Elderhood shifts the focus from having things--- to leaving a legacy.  Elders face the question: What shall I cling to, and what shall I let go of?  The answer is in the serenity prayer; we must have, “The wisdom to know the difference.” 

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Last line nails it!!! it is a beautiful, summary of an important truth!!

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