If you want more proof that the conversation around end of life attitudes is changing, you need look no further than The New York Times this week.
In two very cool profiles—one of legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, the other of non-celebrity nonagenarian Ruth Willig—we find older Americans looking at their later chapters with remarkable openness and even acceptance.
A Famous Filmmaker on Editing a Life
In an interview titled “Martin Scorsese Is Letting Go,” the director and cinemaphile touches on his long and storied career, but also talks plainly about aging and preparing for the ending to his own personal story. He even adopts a practical Swedish death cleaning-style approach to figuring out the “stuff” of life. He realizes he’s got to figure out “who gets what or not.” He knows that choosing his work projects now requires more discernment, and he thinks about how his films may be showcased in a future beyond him.
How Can a Parent Talk to Her Kids About Her Own Death?
In the other feature, one of the week’s “Most Popular” stories at The New York Times’ online site, 96-year-old Brooklynite Ruth Willig feels ready for whatever comes, even though she worries a bit about how reluctant her children are to discuss the future with her. The piece, entitled “She Is 96 and Does Not Fear Her Death. But Do Her Children?,” asks a number of relevant and fascinating questions, such as, “how do we tell our children that it is O.K. to say goodbye? And how do we tell our parents that it is O.K. to go?”
If you’re interested in this topic, check out these articles, and you might find this mini-sode of our podcast helpful. We talk to award-winning author and palliative care nurse Sallie Tisdale about what it means to think about—and even practice for—the process of dying, and how we can learn to say goodbye with love and intention.
If you have a question about aging, or planning for end-of-life issues, or if you'd like to tell us about your experience as a parent--or a child--talking about death with family members, we'd love to hear from you. Message us on Facebook or Instagram @myfarewelling, or write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.