We are the Older Generation

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Debra is curious, “Do others begin to think about how many years we might have remaining? I just lost an aunt that was my mother’s age, who passed away 14 years after my mother…

In seven years I will be the age my mother was when she passed away. I have 21 years until my aunt’s age. But then my grandmothers lived into their nineties.

How do others deal with these thoughts and is it because my generation has just become the older generation of the family?”

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45 thoughts on “We are the Older Generation”

  1. father died when i was 12 he was 64 and my mother died when she was 94. I have worked as a CCA for alot of years so i have been around people that have died for different reasons so I am not worrying about it as long as my affairs are in order

    1. Managing has become my new word as I age at 73. I’m in good heath except for arthritis and joint mobility problems. For years it was a constant battle to get back to normal active living. One day it dawned on me that a new normal was the best that could be achieved. I learned if I managed my life and activities it could be a relatively comfortable life. It is so much nicer than always striving to do things that are now out of reach. I do think of what time we have left but think we have manage what we can about that as well. The rest is not up to us. So far I don’t fear the future. Thanks all for the observations and for sharing.

  2. Worked in nursing home for almost 40 years. I have a different perception of death because of this. I have seen so many things worse than death. Have spent time with people as they were dying. My only fear is how I will die. Do not want to be a burden to my family. I believe a much better place awaits us and try to focus on that.

    1. IT IS THE NATURE OF OUR “DESIGN”. I FOUND THAT IF I GO AHEAD AND ACCEPT THE AGING PROCESS, MY ATTITUDE BECOMES CALM AND THE ANXIETY ISN’T AS FREQUENT. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT FOR ME TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH MY SPIRITUAL BEING.

    2. Wow..I was afraid it was just me..I think when my Dr. started setting goals for me..like ..lets keep our eye on 85..I started counting the years I may have left..really sobering..and the old familiar..it’s just a number..your only as old as you feel..those people don’t have a clue..I don’t think I’m afraid to die..I am however afraid of being trapped in my own body..I guess just take a day at a time and live..

  3. Everyday is a gift, none are promised! So live everyday positively, and do the best you can! Get to living, and doing all you have dreamed about doing!
    I do not fear death…….all my life my journey has been trying to figure out thee TRUTH in this life and I suppose death will be the answer to all my spiritual searchings…….rather exciting I think.

  4. That is my hope. My maternal grandmother had a very clear mind unto death in her nineties. I take after her in so many ways, that I cling to that hope.

  5. WOW I am glad I am not the only one that thinks of this. I am not really scared to die. Its leaving my family behind. I don’t want to miss any thing in their lives..They have made me the happiest Mom, Grammie in the world!

    1. Thank you for your response. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one as well. It is quite different and sobering when we become the oldest generation in the family.

      1. I am 80, I am beginning to really think about this. Believe me I don’t feel old. Very active and healthy. But you can’t help but think and wonder how much time you have left.

    2. Oh that’s exactly how I feel. I wonder how much of their lives I’ll get to see. I love them so much and they are crazy about me, their Nana. I lost my dad in 2018, he was 79. I lost my brother in 2019 he was 58. My mom and another brother are still living. I know this is my last chapter in my story. I’m 59 with many health problems.

  6. I live in the moment as much as I can. After all, all we have is this moment anyway.
    Father died when I was only 14 but we still have mother, she is 88 and doing fine. However, I look after her and it does take it out of me a bit because she tries to control my life, not that she succeeds but she tries.
    I understand that we have an end date and I’m not scared of it, I just want it to be peaceful.

    1. In our family, so many of the younger children have become caregivers for their parents. They become tied down to the daily chores, unable to take vacations and other recreational activities. As one younger member put it, ”you are living longer but you need care and it changes our lives”.
      Yes some of us become a burden to our children. At 86 years old, I can still take care of myself, have groups of senior, church and card game friends. I pray that I don’t live to be a burden.

  7. Both my parents died when I was 43. I believe that’s when I finally arrived at true adulthood and simultaneously became an orphan. It’s still so strange to think that that entire generation of ancestors is gone forever. Now I’m like they were, aging and calculating what time is left for me. I never imagined worrying that my dog might outlive me. But these have been truly the best years of my life so far.

  8. Think as we get past 70 we start to worry about our own mortality. But try to carry on enjoying what I can left instructions and money so put it to the back of my mind.

  9. My father used to use the phrase ‘moving into the front line’ for when both parents were gone. I didn’t like that phrase, but have come to see it’s true. I didn’t give it much thought until I lost my husband of 47 years, three years ago. Then I became very aware of my own mortality, and the fact that we never know when our own end will come. I try to stay healthy and active but I’m very aware of the fact that at 74, I am in the front line.

    1. Thank you for your words. My spouse is still living, but that too enters my thinking and I try to make the most of each day with him.

      1. I think of it only because I don’t want to leave a mess for my son and want to see what my grandchildren become. I am 70 and fairly healthy. I am planning a trip with my grandson who will be 7 this summer. Go and do while you can. Make the best of the time you have.

    2. I ‘moved to the front line’ when my 81-year-old mother died in 2015. I have noticed that I am not as important to my children and grandchildren, which I suppose is a good thing. It is hard not to receive attention from those I devoted my youth to nurturing. At, 67, and divorced, I face an uncertain yet exciting future. I am deciding to give up the responsibilities of home ownership and find an active retirement village for 55+ adults. I still wonder if this is a solid move!!

      1. Oh my, this rings so true and stings my heart. I was devoted to my parents until the end and foolishly believed that would be how my days would end for me, but no.
        I let go of all expectations and it is freeing for us all. No regrets, no recriminations–after the tears.

  10. All the time! My father died when he was 42 & my mother lived to be 96. I am the youngest of 6 kids & I am 66. If I get to live as long as my mother that is 30 more years to live!! I worry about outliving my hubby, my family & friends AND my money. I have seen 2 brothers die, one from an accident & the other suffered for many years, lost his limbs & died @ 74. My oldest sister is turning 80, and has been diagnosed with dementia. I have another sister who is 75 & feeble. Can only walk with a cane or walker & uses a wheelchair a lot. Out of us 6 kids, only 4 are still living & only 2 of us are in good health! It is sad to be the youngest & see your family decline. I intend to stay as healthy as I can by walking 3 – 6 miles most days, eating well most of the time, travel when I can, love on my hubby, children & grandchildren! I could live another 30 years like my mother OR I could go tomorrow. Be thankful for what you do have. Tomorrow is not promised “LIVE, LAUGH & LOVE”while you can!

  11. Our minds do give much thought, when approaching our older years, especially if we lost parents & they were only in 40”s. I was somewhat anxious . I am turning 66yo now & am grateful, God has permitted me life to enjoy my 1 gift (son-now 34yo). I embrace scripture stating: God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of peace & sound mind!!
    Until he calls me home, I am grateful, live, laugh, love!!

  12. I also think about my time remaining more than I ever did. I’m 61. My husband had a serious brush with death a couple of years ago and survived thankfully, and I had surgery for cancer a year ago and am cancer free at this time. My friend who is the same age as me , and I , joke all the time about our remaining 15-20 “good years”.
    I was a bit worried about my thoughts being more about how much time I have remaining, but I see now that it’s probably quite normal at my age. The fact is, none of us know, and all we can do is try to stay healthy and enjoy each day as we get it.

    1. Yes, I dont want the fear of days remaining to hold up making the most of each day at a time. Good to know this seems to be a.c normal thought process.

    2. I’ve done the same thinking of how long I have left and so glad to read it’s normal. I’m 61 and have so much life in me that I’m trying not to consume myself with it and just LIVE. Thank you for your beautiful thoughts.

  13. I am so glad you posed this question! I do think about it often mostly because of my two youngest grandsons. My mom died in 96 at the age of 64 and I am now going on three years older than her. I lost my sister in 04, she was only 50! At the time of her loss, I was so aware of all the things she was going to miss as her children were all under 20 years old and felt such gratitude that I would experience all the special times a parent shares with their children. Now, I look at my two youngest boys, aged 8 and 5 and I think about how long I have to see them grow. Most people don’t understand those dark thoughts but they are there because we have no true timeline on our lives. It brings a tear to my heart when I think of leaving although I am not afraid of dying, I am more afraid of missing something!

    1. I lost my older brother in 04 and he was just four months shy of his 51st bday. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about time left……but living (not dying) seems to be more of the focus. Since the death of both my parents in 2014 being the older generation plays tricks with your thinking.😉 My husband lost all three of his brothers suddenly before they each reached their 60s, so we both look at getting older as both a privilege and a gift.

  14. I’m going to be 80 next year…and plan on living another 20 years….so I have a lot of plans for those 20 years.
    If it doesn’t work out that way..so what!

  15. I remind myself almost daily that only God knows when my time in this life will be done.I realize my mortality, but I do what I can to keep that hour at bay. I have many details of my life that I need to get taken care of and into place, not just for the family I will be leaving behind, but so I will be leaving no unfinished business.I have outlived my mother by 13 years; I have 14 years before I reach the age of my father when he died.Each parent has/had their closest sibling reach at least 100 years. So, yes, I do think of it, but I do not let the reality of it depress me. I have been given a very pleasant life and I want only to enjoy ir for as long as I have.

    1. My father died at 67, the same age I am now. My mother died age 70. I used to be the middle child, but have lost 2 brothers age 24 & 62. I’ve thought about live a LOT since the death of my 74yo sister in summer of 19. I have 2 sisters and a brother younger than me. I am now the oldest of the living siblings…. translated in back of my mind to “I’m next.”
      My situation in not conducive to doing things one bucket list. I am at odds with myself.

  16. This year I lost my my mother (86) and my “baby” brother (55). I am now the older generation. I have been depressed since the death of my brother 4 months ago. I don’t think about time left per say, but I know the end is nigh. Some days I am ready. Other days I am sad. Acceptance is key to feeling stable. That is what I strive for.

    1. I find I never spent time thinking about aging until a couple of years ago. I’m 63, working, taking care of my 86 year old mom. I don’t fear dying but I do fear losing who I am through illness or dementia. It’s hard not to wonder how many quality years are left, but that also keeps me from living all my moments. This is hard!

  17. Everyone, as they get older, has these thoughts. The trick is to not dwell on something you have no control over. Enjoy your time while you are here.
    Both of my mother’s parents died before they were 50 and she is 81 this yr.

    1. Becoming the “old generation” can indeed be startling and scary. My Dad died at age 40 and my Mom is still here at 91 and is relatively well and independent in most ways. She needs help because she’s quite blind from macular degeneration and her hearing isn’t good. Outside of those two admittededly problematic issues, she is pretty healthy. Her mother lived to almost 99. So, she talks about not being here much longer but it doesn’t seem to distress her. As for me, I’m the eldest of 7 kids and am turning 70 this year. We lost one of my brothers a few years back – he was only 54. I do think of dying although I don’t expect it will happen soon unless something totally out of left field happens. I’m not afraid of dying though and in many ways, I look forward to it. I lost my husband 2 years ago and the kids are grown and gone. I know I would miss them and my grandkids, but life does go on and I hope they will remember me fondly and not spend too much time grieving. I will be happy if I survive to 75 or 80 – that will be long enough for me. And, I’ve probably got just enough money til then! Life is nice, but heaven is infinitely better and I will be happy to get there! I want to see those who have gone before me and the face of Jesus!

  18. I do think about how many “good” years I have left. I am 61 years old and am in good health. I love the outdoors and am pretty active. I try not to but I do dread the day I can no longer hike in my beloved hills. I am a nurse and have often seen how life can turn on a dime. I cherish each day and very grateful to be healthy. I try just to be present on each day and my goals are to love and care for those around me and to break a sweat at least once a day. The latter goal was something my Mom encouraged and I think it’s an excellent goal!

  19. Enjoy life while you can. Nobody knows how long they have left. I lost a grandchild at 22 months old. He was running around and healthy the day before he died.

  20. I agree with Donna! Best not to think about it! Thinking it over and over will depress you and will not make any difference so why worry! X

  21. I try not to think about how many more years I have. Try to stay in the moment. It’s hard to do, but I work on it every day. I try to live every day as though it was my last.

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