Sunsets are beautiful. They are a natural part of every day. Sometimes a sunset can evoke feelings of calm and peace, and sometimes we may experience a bit of melancholy that the day has ended. But after every sunset, there is a sunrise the next day.
The end of life is natural, as well. And we know life does go on. What if we could look at our last years with our parents as an opportunity to DESIGN A SUNSET? What if we could talk with our parents, siblings if we have them, and our own families to design the best possible sunset so that we can pass along a legacy of love and resilience to our children? Our children are watching us now and learning from us. What do they see and feel? Is caring for an aging parent a time of struggle, resentment, frustration? Or is it a time to honor and savor? Is it a time to teach our children how to love and grow in compassion?
Yes – it’s hard. Even brutal at times.
But the sun will rise tomorrow.
Take time to design the best possible sunset. What colors will you see? Who will be there? Where will you go to watch?
Savor the SUNSET.
What is the SANDWICH GENERATION?
It was 2015. I was a full time working Mom of two high school students – one getting ready for college and the other just starting her high school years.
Meanwhile, I was also caring for both parents who were over 80 and living in an Assisted Living facility. I was a poster child for the Sandwich Generation – one of many adults in the world who have children living in their homes, and who are also caring for an aging parent.
Like the “protein” in the middle of a big, juicy sandwich, I was squeezed!
A 2014 Pew Research Study (in the United States) suggested that about 47% of Americans are in this situation, and rates are rising rapidly due to adults living longer and the large Baby Boomer Generation beginning to retire.
Boomers represent one of the largest generations and a group who have always shaken up the status quo! As they approach retirement, they are at it again. Now is the time to start conversations about family, caregiving, and how we view this next wave.
I’ll add more information here on critical conversations, money concerns, legal issues and healthcare concerns.