Every life matters immensely.
Every well-lived and completed life
helps in healing the world.

~ Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi

PROFILE

A retired physician, Sterling Haynes practiced family medicine for almost four decades in Alberta, British Columbia and Alabama, delivering over 3000 babies. Based now in British Columbia, he writes non-fiction, humour, and poetry. He has published in the Medical Post, The Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine, the B.C. Medical Journal, the Harvard Medical Alumni Journal, Okanagan Life, B.C. History and The New Quarterly. He is the winner of the B.C. Joyce Dunn award for creative nonfiction, the Naji Naaman literary prize, and had a poem shortlisted by Descant magazine for the best poems written in Canada. Haynes has published twomemoirs on the doctoring life with Caitlin Press: Bloody Practice: Doctoring in the Cariboo and Around the World and Wake Up Call: Tales from a Frontier Doctor.

It was after a left-sided stroke that Dr. Haynes began to write humour and poetry.

I was left with a partially paralysed right foot but a writer’s creative right brain.

Laughter has helped me through many difficult times in life and medicine.

For our anthology Celebrating Poets over 70, Haynes pokes fun at negative aging stereotypes.

TO READ THE COMPLETE POEM >>

FAMILY CAREGIVING

Caitlin Humick and I presented a poster at the recent annual meeting of the Canadian Association on Aging, entitled Role Transitions in Adult Daughters Providing Care to Mothers Living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Three recent caregiving memoirs published by daughters with close relationships with their mothers were analyzed:

Cathie Borrie’s (2010) The Long Hello: The Other Side of Alzheimer’s
Barbara Pursley’s (2010) Embracing the Moment: An Alzheimer’s Memoir
Virginia Stem Owens’ (2007) Caring for Mother: A Daughter’s Long Goodbye.
TO READ THE ABSTRACT: HumickRyanCAG Daughter-Mother Caregiving Alzheimer’s

BOOK REVIEW

SPIRITUALITY AND AGING.
Robert Atchley.  Baltimore MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

A recognized North American leader in the area of Aging and Spirituality, Bob Atchley has conducted a 20-year longitudinal study of aging and adaptation.  Learning from elders along his own spiritual journey has also shaped his view of spiritual development across the life span.

Atchley provides a framework and resources to consider how spirituality develops in later life – concepts which apply to aging individuals from diverse religious and non-religious backgrounds.  Qualities of spiritual experience identified by older research participants include stillness, peace, mystery, clarity of seeing, meaning, universal love in the face of suffering, connection with the ground of being, wonder, trust, transformation, call to serve, and desire to pursue a spiritual journey. Spiritual development can occur both naturally and consciously as one ages and represents the higher possibilities of adult development.  The spiritual narrative is particularly valuable for looking at how spiritual identity emerges with life experiences over a lifetime.  TO READ MORE:Atchley09Spirituality&AgingReview

QUOTATIONS

Character is refined in the laboratory of aging.
~ James Hillman

We deem those happy who from the experience of life
have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.

~ Carl Jung

The only thing that can save us as a species is seeing how
we’re not thinking about future generations in the way we live.
What’s lacking is generativity, a generativity that will promote
positive values in the lives of the next generation.

~ Erik H. Erikson

Until next time,

Ellen