The Older Generation
by Adam Goodwin | 2014 | Last Updated: April 4, 2014
As I wrote in a recent post, my grandmother recently passed away (mother’s mom). This is on top of the passing of both of my father’s parents (my grandfather when I was young, and my grandmother when I was in the latter stages of high school).
My grandmother’s passing came suddenly. This is the way of life. There is no explanation. There is no reason. It takes time to accept this.
4:00AM Wake Up
As I do with 99% of the 4:00AM’s I am meant to be sleeping during, I was analysing this life event. This moment and moments of sadness, confusion, and loneliness. Of reflection of one’s own life and family.
It got me thinking. Oh, how I both dread and love these 4:00AM moments of laying in bed. Dread due to lack of sleep – or perhaps the interruption of being in a consistent state of sleep during a full night. And dread if someone is sleeping in the bed next to me – for they likely find it strange to have me stirring and staring at the ceiling at 4:00AM. Love due to both strange and wonderful thoughts and ideas at the same time. Trying to understand and make sense of the world, it’s people, the daily events and experiences.
My grandma’s death came only shortly after her retirement. This got me thinking about a couple of things.
How important it is to one’s overall life, health, well-being, and success to have a sense of purpose (I will do some academic research on this in a future blog post). Many people get this through their work and career. When they retire, then what?
I was also thinking about how we support and help transition people from a career to retirement. In short, most governments likely don’t, or if they do, do it poorly.
Thirdly, how we view and treat older adults.
Before going too much further, a quick side note. When I write older adult I am referring to what many refer to as an elderly person. I think older adult is more appropriate and has less negative connotations.
Elderly makes someone sound like they can’t do anything anymore and just be placed in the corner of a retirement home.
Your Call to Action
Help society re-think how it treats and thinks about it’s older adults. For a thriving community and environment, older adults cannot be passive members of society. We must engage them in their and our communities.
Based on your reading of this blog post, you may also be interested in: My Grandmother.
These are one person’s thoughts and opinions. I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.
Adam Goodwin is a Canadian working in the United Kingdom, and is a proud shameless idealist. His parents currently work in Cairo, Egypt. He has siblings and distant family in Canada and around the rainbow nation’s only home. Follow his year+ overseas on Twitter (@adam13goodwin) and on this blog.