My first reaction was that preparing to die is a part of aging. But my new friend (who has also just bought The Art of Dying) convinced me otherwise. “My parents,” he said, “have not aged well.” They had stubbornly refused to stop driving when they no longer could safely do so. They refused to move from the South up to Chicago, where their son lived, in order for him to better care for them. They believed their health problems had to do with bad doctors, not their older bodies failing.
For all these reasons, my friend said that there needs to be a book on aging well. He was determined “not to do to my kids what my parents have done.”
I think that aging well means learning to accept limits and finding new meaning and purpose in a more confined life. This is different than dying, which is about finishing life and preparing for the next. Aging can be more challenging, I imagine, as the process may be longer, more fitful, and offer no finality except in the transition to dying.
Yet people can age well.
So what do you think, is there a book to be written about aging well? What would be included in it?