Today’s consumer-driven society wants adults to forget that aging is a natural process that can be navigated gracefully without plastic surgery and hair dye—and overmedication. When individuals realize they can do nothing to keep from growing old, except of course to die young, they may develop a deep fear of aging. It is the fear of aging and dying that brings frustration and sadness to people. Some fear possible suffering; no one wants their demise to be painful.
It best to make friends with one’s mortality. It is not going to go away. It is possible to trust that the passing or release from earthly life, although its particulars are unknown, is not to be feared. One can think about it as a process that parallels our soul’s beginning and birth. This workshop focuses on being with participants as they make friends with aging and the inevitability of death.
In this workshop, participants are invited to complete a Five Wishes booklet from Aging with Dignity. Obtain booklets well in advance of the workshop (see Materials section of program Introduction).
Experience has shown that this program works best when each workshop begins with the opportunity for participants to eat lunch together. Shared lunch, whether individual brown bag or something more elaborate, allows time for community building and sets a tone for what follows. A few days before the workshop, remind participants by email or phone to bring their bag lunch and a mug, or tell them about lunch arrangements you have made.
This workshop will:
- Invite participants to continue to grow a supportive community
- Invite participants to value elderhood as a time of spiritual richness despite personal challenges of aging
- Invite participants to become comfortable with personal mortality.
- Continue to grow a supportive community
- Come to value elderhood as a time of spiritual richness despite personal challenges of aging
- Share personal obituaries and reflections on mortality
- Contemplate experiences of true beauty and create a mandala
- Begin to articulate end-of-life wishes.