From the vantage point of youth, sorrows in later life
seem so relentless that we cannot imagine living through them.
We watch elders lose friends and relatives, give up beloved
houses, and relinquish cherished involvements. It an seem that
later life is composed of interludes between disasters. What
consolation could there be? We conclude that old age must be
a dire time, indeed.
It is only later that we find that fresh life evolves out of
each grief. We must open ourselves to sorrow, allow it to move
through us, and await all that will grow out of it. The deeper
the loss, the longer it takes to recognize how much of life still
awaits us. Rather than trying to evade its intensity, we have
to allow loss to animate the way we spend our days.”
From LIFE GETS BETTER: The Unexpected Pleasures of Growing
Older, by Wendy Lustbader (Jeremy Tarcher, 2011).