A Unitarian Universalist minister and chaplain explores questions of meaning and spirituality in aging through the stories and experiences of elders.

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Product Code: 5213
ISBN: 9781558968172
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Published Date: 03/21/2018
Pages: 288
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $18.00

A Unitarian Universalist minister and chaplain at a large senior residence community leads us on a journey through the stories and experiences of elders, offering insights into navigating this unique stage of life. Drawing on scores of personal interviews, this straightforward yet introspective volume provides a felt sense, grounded in real-life accounts, of the challenges and blessings of aging. Unlike many books on the topic, In Later Years: Finding Meaning and Spirit in Aging focuses particularly on older seniors—those in their late seventies, eighties, and nineties. Through their personal reflections, Marshall explores questions of meaning and spirituality. Interviewees thoughtfully share about their joys, regrets, accomplishments, and things left unfinished, while also considering the ways they cope with diminishing physical and mental abilities. Marshall weaves their accounts together, revealing larger themes and holding up the opportunities for discovery, connection, and renewal available to us in advanced age. The book also serves as an invaluable resource for family members and caregivers, suggesting ways to help, ways to connect, and ways to understand the issues that attend growing old. Detailed appendices provide tips and a simple curriculum for gathering and facilitating group discussions.


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Introduction

Part I: Aging
One: Loss
Two: Change
Three: Identity
Four: Help

Part II: Meaning
Five: Exemplars
Six: Choice
Seven: Relationship
Eight: Legacy

Part III: Spirit
Nine: Letting Go
Ten: Presence
Eleven: Mystery

Conclusion

In the experience of aging, we encounter that core of loneliness in ourselves and also in others. Each of us is separate; each approaches aging as a distinct being. Yet we share that condition with everybody else: our contemporaries, those who have lived before us, and those yet to come. All of us are alone as we age. In sharing that condition, we are profoundly connected. The tension between opposites—aloneness and connection, meaninglessness and meaning, diminishment and renewal—produces a creative space from which I draw the energy that drives these reflections.

In Later Years is a primer for aging, helping us to navigate these difficult waters with grace and purpose.
—Marilyn Sewell, author of Breaking Free: Women of Spirit at Midlife and Beyond

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