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Dying Well:The Unspoken Dimension of Aging Well

Dying WellThe Unspoken Dimension of Aging Well SAGE Publications, Inc.1996DOI: 10.1177/000276429603900308 Michael C. Kearl Trinity University I have observed, as a matter of fact, that it is only people who exceed the age of ninety who attain euthanasia-who die, that is to say, of no disease, apoplexy or convulsion, and pass away without agony of any sort; nay, who sometimes even show no pallor, but expire generally in a sitting attitude, and often after a meal-or, I may say, simply cease to live rather than die. To come to one's end before the age of ninety, means to die of disease, in other words, prematurely. -Zygmunt Bauman (1992, p. 19, fn 6) It is appropriate that this special issue on "aging well" conclude, like the human life cycle, with death. Whether one ages well or not, one's ultimate fate remains the same. However, as individuals' abilities to age well are, in part, conditioned by how well they encountered the earlier stages of life, so too are they shaped by their anticipated abilities to die well. Although death is the defining event of old age, there is a curious silence in gerontological circles about death's bearing on the aging http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Behavioral Scientist SAGE

Dying Well:The Unspoken Dimension of Aging Well

Abstract

Dying WellThe Unspoken Dimension of Aging Well SAGE Publications, Inc.1996DOI: 10.1177/000276429603900308 Michael C. Kearl Trinity University I have observed, as a matter of fact, that it is only people who exceed the age of ninety who attain euthanasia-who die, that is to say, of no disease, apoplexy or convulsion, and pass away without agony of any sort; nay, who sometimes even show no pallor, but expire generally in a sitting attitude, and often after a meal-or, I may say, simply cease to live rather than die. To come to one's end before the age of ninety, means to die of disease, in other words, prematurely. -Zygmunt Bauman (1992, p. 19, fn 6) It is appropriate that this special issue on "aging well" conclude, like the human life cycle, with death. Whether one ages well or not, one's ultimate fate remains the same. However, as individuals' abilities to age well are, in part, conditioned by how well they encountered the earlier stages of life, so too are they shaped by their anticipated abilities to die well. Although death is the defining event of old age, there is a curious silence in gerontological circles about death's bearing on the aging
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