Category

Death/Dying

Not grim and not somber, this category wades into matters of death and dying with some observations about the big picture and details that sometimes don’t see the light of day!  Full of years, readers and viewers will find this category a good place to begin conversations and redeem what might otherwise seem to be an easily avoided part of life.

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Exit interviews?

Along my career path, I’ve participated in several exit interviews—final conversations with my bosses about any number of matters regarding my past and future work. With my supervisor, I could review the final details of my separation; learn important information that might be useful for the next steps in my life and receive affirmations about my past service along with best wishes for my futureMORE...

Who’s in charge? (Redux)

Previously I shared some thoughts about describing responsibilities as caregivers anticipate the needs of their frail elderly parents. In this entry, I approach the same question, this time from the viewpoint of an older adult who wants to invite adult children—or other caregivers—into a beginning conversation about my possible needs. The following personal observations and experiences come toMORE...

Who’s in charge?

As you anticipate caring for a frail elderly person—or seeking care yourself—it may be wise to ask (and answer) the simple question, “Who will be in charge?” It makes sense to address this matter as part of elder care conversations now. Events in my life over the past two decades have sharpened that question and broadened possible answers. Consider this invitation to join in a two-partMORE...

Reflections from a funeral, Part 2

  Recently I learned to appreciate the value that can come to those who attend a memorial service in a funeral home. My observations from the previous entry continue here. • Because those in attendance knew each other—and the person who died—this event felt like a final step in knowing more fully who she really was. A satisfying experience to complete all the years of positive andMORE...

Reflections from a funeral, Part 1

  Recently I attended a memorial service that took place in a funeral home. Because this was something I’ve not experienced in decades, I was especially interested in seeing how this kind of service might compare with a memorial service in a church. I was favorably impressed at how spiritual matters maintained their strengths in the funeral home setting. In this and the following entry, IMORE...

When it’s time to give up

I’ve watched this feeling grow in some older adults who I have known well: They finally get tired of the work of staying alive, and just give up. What I have also seen: the difficulty of bringing up this matter with those around them. How do any of us tell those who love us that we’re ready to die? What words do we use? What will our loved ones be ready to hear? How do we broach the subjectMORE...

Memento mori

“Remember that you must die”. This is the function of a recently developed *Web app that will send you five randomly-spaced text messages each day that focus on this timeless truth. (The developers of this app credit a famous Bhutanese folk saying that professes “to be a truly happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.”) Not-so-strangely, the creators of this app are serious aboutMORE...

Secret lives

  Something that’s true about most of us at this time in our lives: We have secrets that almost no one knows about. Even though God’s providential and loving eyes might take in these perhaps-unknown elements of our lives, we may still harbor some ambivalence about revealing things about ourselves that have hitherto remained invisible. Our possible secrets may live in the past: Real orMORE...

Passive healthcare

This blog is part of an ongoing series that answers an intriguing question: What might it mean for older adults to claim that they are still “fearfully and wonderfully made?” My family doctor is insistent that I stay healthy. His mantra is simple: “Bob, you’re responsible for your health, not me!” I leave any visit with a collection of recommendations about what I can do to correct a problem orMORE...

Thanks for nothing

  No, really, God…. I mean it. I want to thank you for absolutely nothing. That may sound odd—something is usually better than nothing. At the start and end of my life, “nothing” will characterize me. “Having nothing” is the way I arrived into this world—naked and crying about starting my new life outside the protection of my mother’s body. And as you know, dear Lord, it’s the way I’llMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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