EndNotes

Mid-life: Mixed blessings

Grass widows and buttercupts were blooming during the the community work project at the Dishman Hills Natural Area on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Serviceberry blossoms were ready to burst open after another few warm weeks and arrowleaf balsamroots were ready to pop up out of the ground. More than 330 people volunteered to help. The event was sponsored by REI and several outdoor groups.  (Rich Landers)
Grass widows and buttercupts were blooming during the the community work project at the Dishman Hills Natural Area on Saturday, April 9, 2011. Serviceberry blossoms were ready to burst open after another few warm weeks and arrowleaf balsamroots were ready to pop up out of the ground. More than 330 people volunteered to help. The event was sponsored by REI and several outdoor groups. (Rich Landers)

A story in today’s feature section profiles the challenges and rewards of the baby boomer generation: we endure loss, grief, which peaks when we are in our 50s. Some losses are predictable – the death of a parent, the children leaving home. Some are not: unemployment, the end of a marriage.  But even when we expect something like the death of a parent, the grief comes.

However, this time is not without benefit. We gain self-awareness, wisdom, and understanding of what is important in life. We have a greater sense of clarity and purpose in our lives. Boomers are 70 million strong – now aged 48-66 – and are working hard to learn from their experiences and from each other.

Life’s transitions seem mirrored in nature:  cycles of “dying,” letting go, a time of quiet or dormancy, then the new life, new beginnings. Our losses serve not only as something to move through, but they also come rich with lessons, to strengthen us with wisdom and compassion.

(S-R archives photo: Grass widows and buttercups)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.




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