Baby Boomers Approaching End-of-Life

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BY: Diane Snyder Cowan

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

​Let’s talk about Baby Boomers – one of my favorite subjects.  After all, it’s all about ME, right?  WE are the generation who changed the world. WE are the ones who fought for and won civil rights. We went against the establishment. We were the counterculture. 

We had very active childhoods and many of us still have very active adulthoods. Now we are sending our children off to college while working on care for our parents. Some of us are also parenting our grandchildren.

We were fiercely independent back in the day and we continue to treasure our independence. We embrace technology. We are the first in line for the new iPod. We are hard working. We are demanding and we like to have life defined on our own terms. We like choices! Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. We like convenience! A Starbucks on every corner!

Many boomers wanted to change the world. Many went on spiritual quests looking for meaning and purpose in their lives.  Some boomers may have moved away from these pursuits and others held fast to them. Now, as the end of life and the lives of our loved ones near, this spiritual quest and questioning is invoked. Boomers want religion and spirituality on their own terms and it needs to make sense.

How does this impact us as we face our loved ones dying and our own mortality? Here are a couple of facts. We cover a 19 year age span! We are 26 percent of the population and 10,000 of us will turn 65 every day.  And, 2,904 of us will die every day. End-of-life and grief are the next phases boomers will face en masse. We are changing the way death and dying and grief and loss are experienced.

What we can do now:

· Funeral planning – There are many options and choices for funerals and burials. If you opt for a funeral or memorial service, remember to select your music.  Stones or Beatles? It’s important!

· Ethical wills and legacy work – Think about how you want to be remembered. Complete an ethical will or a legacy project that future generations will treasure for years to come.

· Life review – Look back on what you did individually and what the boomer generation did as a whole to change the world.

Let’s embrace the future with the same enthusiasm as we lived the past.

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