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Resilient Aging: Spirituality and Story in Later Life

Eleanor McCloskey, CND for the Wellness and Health Resource Team

Recently we were treated to a presentation by a local professor who specializes in narrative gerontology. Dr. Bill Randall explained how each phase of life has developmental tasks for us: we learn to walk, to speak, to read, to make decisions, to be responsible, etc. In our later years, narrative tasks are important and helpful, even essential to our wellness. He uses the term narra-care in inviting us to review our lives, to remember, rejoice, reconcile, and to recycle the wisdom stories that are uniquely our own. Reflecting on our own story is an implicitly spiritual process since it can deepen our sense of purpose and meaning, widen our sense of self and of God, stir up our gratitude and enhance our inner resilience in everyday living. We learned a lot in an hour!


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