SENIORS: COPING WITH MORTALITY

Sep 1st, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Mortality is Reality for Seniors

Having a realistic and well defined understanding of mortality does not speed its coming.  On the contrary, recognizing the inevitability of our own mortality enables us to open all the doors and windows to living a full life.  Denial, it has been said, is not a river in Egypt.  Having a healthy perspective on my own mortality means that I can embrace life and all its implications, likelihoods, and definites.

When I can say to myself, boldly, without fear, “I am going to die,” I have taken charge of my present.  I have also recognized what the future holds.  I do not have to dread it, fear it, avoid it, give it any power.  It will happen.  How? When? Under what circumstances?  I can’t know.  But I can know that it will come.  I do not have to adopt a macabre attitude about it.  I do not have to wear it on my sleeve.  I don’t have to bring it up with others.

Having done so, I can then move on.  Most of us don’t spend inordinate amounts of time focusing on one subject every day.  We don’t give ourselves over to obsessing about any one thing.  Most of us.  Some do.  It is, however, an unhealthy choice and habit.  When such behavior happens, it is time to seek help.  That is true with the fear of death.  It is true with other behaviors that are allowed to dominate one’s day to day existence.

Prepare for Your Death

Coping with mortality means that you can look the end of life straight in the eye and make all necessary preparations, legal, marital, physical (including do not resuscitate orders), will or trust arrangements, and so on.  Having done that frees you to feel that you have made all appropriate arrangements and you are then able to go on with your life.

Making sure you have addressed all the issues which pertain to your death will be in the best interest of everyone involved.  Keeping those current and being up front with family and/or others will be necessary.   Believing or acting as if you are not going to die means that many things will be left undone.  That’s okay, if that’s the way you want it done, but it usually creates difficulty and complexity for your loved ones.

If your inheritance plans, memorial or funeral arrangements are not in order, whatever happens, happens.  All control has been surrendered.  Regret will likely follow you to the grave and others will have to deal with their own.



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