How to Deal with Death and Dying as You Age

Learning How to Cope with Aging, Dying, Death, and Loss

Senior woman on bench looking away
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Death and dying are an inevitable part of life. Whether you are facing your own death or the death of someone you love, it is a certainty (along with taxes, so they say) that death will enter into your life. But even with that certainty, many still find that they are unprepared for dealing with death and the grief that follows the loss of a loved one. But that doesn't mean that you can't be prepared.

The Downside of Longevity

It is a bit of a paradox that the more successful you are at healthy aging and achieving longevity, the more death will be a part of your life experiences. As each of us grow older, we are faced with more and more friends and family who will pass as a result of an accident, an illness, or simply old age. The older we get, the more people we will know with chronic and terminal disease. One of the common experiences for those caught unprepared for this reality is depression, which is not surprisingly common in old age. Figuring out how you are going to cope with death is a both a proactive anti-aging skill and mental health effort that we should all work toward.

Experts in Coping with Death and Dying

It appears that there are some people who find it inherently easier to be at peace with death, whether premature or at the end of a long life. Of the many I've come across in my experience, one inspirational sentiment about death I keep coming back to is a story about a little boy who passed away.

That story goes that the little boy's mother said a simple prayer that went something like this:

"Dear Sam, Thank you for the honor of being your mom. We had a lot of fun. I love you. Please pray for us."

I keep returning to this story because I really appreciate this way of thinking about death. I hope that, when faced with death of a loved one, I will be able to reach this level of peace and understanding.

It just seems healthy to me.

That said, though an expert in longevity, I am no expert on death and dying. So I'll refer you to an expert resource that can get you started on the path to gaining a better understanding and approach to life and death.

Resources for Preparing and Coping with the Dying Process 

The Dying Process is a comprehensive set of resources meant to help recognize and cope with the dying process, whether it be gradual or sudden and quick. What I will do is encourage you to engage with the concepts and realities of death and dying now. Have a plan for how you will approach death and dying and what you will tell yourself when a loved one passes away. It will make your life and longevity just that much sweeter.

To prepare for the rest of your long, healthy life, be sure to check out our top aging challenges resources.

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