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Martha McClellan
Position: Authentic Aging

This summer, this moment in time for Verlena

I caught up with Verlena Collentine recently to check in and see how she’s doing. She is the woman who has terminal ovarian cancer and has stopped all medical intervention as of ...

Wisdom is one of few things that doesn’t diminish with age

One advantage of getting old (besides senior discounts) is that we are supposed to be wise, at least wiser than in our younger years. After all the experiences, ups and downs, ac...

I’m making decisions about disposing of my corpse

She called it a cemetery crawl. We were to drive to all the cemeteries in the area and decide where we wanted to be buried. Both of us are interested in green burial, burial into...

Nearing the end, how do we look back on our lives?

At an 80th birthday party recently, we asked the birthday girl how she felt about being 80. She took a moment, then offered, “I feel like I’ve accomplished what I came into this ...

Living situations can be as diverse as we are

It’s fascinating and helpful to learn how and where other elders are living as we move into these later years. The choices and decisions many have already made are as varied, creative and in...

Elders share wisdom, experience with activists

No longer can I avoid writing about what’s happening politically, environmentally, socially and legally right now. The momentum is so fast, it’s like a fireball gathering more an...

How do we answer the risk vs. safety question?

Shall I climb up that ladder to hang the bird feeder? I really want more birds to visit this winter, but I’m not sure about the ladder ... Crash! Bang! Boom! 911! Casts and doctors and three...

From wisdom to gratitude, aging has positive aspects

It was a couple of days after the election, and I ran into a friend walking on the river trail. Being disappointed in the election outcome, we said things like, “I’ve been here before,” “I f...

Learning how to hula is helping my aging mind

My kids took me to Hawaii as a big birthday gift during Thanksgiving. I decided to prepare a bit beforehand by immersing myself in the culture. I read James Michener’s Hawaii and...

Disposal of our bodies: What to do after we die?

November is the cruelest month. People I loved have died in November, and with Halloween and Dia de los Muertos just past, it seems fitting to think about the macabre and our bodies dying. W...

The holidays can be more difficult as we age

Many of us will be spending time with family and loved ones this holiday season. The joys of seeing grandchildren, being with our own kids, perhaps traveling to exciting places, experiencing...

Jumping from early childhood to aging adulthood

I write to learn. I feel that if I can write about something, I really know it. My Patient Parenting columns have always been about a topic I’ve been interested in or a suggestion or request...