Tag Archives: dying

On Death

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retiring from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)

NEWS: I will be giving an author talk/book signing at the Los Angeles Public Library – Fairfax Branch, on March 26, 2015, 2:00pm, address: 161 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles, CA 90036

COMMENTS: I received this comment from a follower regarding my last blog post, “The Health Obsession Spiral.” She got it in a fortune cookie many years ago and never forgot it: “Do not tell your friends about your problems: 80% don’t care and the other 20% are glad you have them.”

Now, onto my blog:

TearsOur own death is a subject that is the proverbial elephant in the room. So many people are in denial and don’t want to talk about it. But, most of us in the baby boomer and senior age ranges think about it a lot. Maybe we have our own health issues, or maybe our peers and loved ones have died or are dying. We can’t help thinking that we’re next.

I recently talked with a friend, Dr. Janet Maker, about this subject. Janet battled breast cancer a few years ago, which had a permanent impact on her. Now in remission, she is writing a book: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer: Take Charge of Your Own Recovery and Remission, about her difficult experiences navigating the medical world. Janet feels strongly about preparing and thinking about her own death.

“I want to do it right. I don’t just want to go out kicking, screaming and afraid.”

Janet suspects that people avoid thinking and talking about their own death because they fear the unknown, feel sadness about losing everything they love, and have regrets about things they did or did not do.

“If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?” she asked me.

I had never thought about it. Identifying those things might motivate people to do them. Do you feel like you have done what you came to do?

I realized that one of my needs is to help others–to give back to the community. I use my blog and my public talks as a vehicle to do so. I hadn’t really identified it that way before.

Janet’s pending book is toward that same end. She wants to pass along the information she learned the hard way to make it easier for women who find themselves on a similar journey with breast cancer. She also wants to bring as much joy as possible into her life. That includes being kinder to herself and others. With that goal, she plans to start an online newsletter, “Janet’s Good News,” where each month she will feature a person and charity that is doing something to make the world better.

What do you need to do? How might you go about doing it? When?

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Filed under Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, retirement, seniors, successful aging, wellness