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Life Review

Published by Chapster on 2001/10/14 (5488 reads)
[size=medium]Recorded in the KEOM studios
October 2001

Q: Occasionally, we hear people speak of life review. What does life review refer to?

A: When most people talk about life review, I think that they are referring to the reminiscing that we tend to do as we age. We may lose our friends and parents to death, witness the tragic unfolding of events like we have seen in the past weeks, or maybe we go through a personal health crisis or trauma. Suddenly, we are much more aware of our own mortality, and we tend to reorganize our values. Often, part of that reorganization brings about consideration of how we have lived our lives, hopefully with some tender memories of good things long past, and a desire to relive them, if only in recollections. Really, for me, even seasons have the power to stir my thoughts in this direction. Nothing awakens this awareness of the past like a cool fall evening, with the smell of leaves and fireplaces. Invariably, such evenings bring about a deep sense of wistfulness and longing for some days gone by. When we speak of life review, I think that's what a lot of people are thinking about.

Q: But there's more to it?

A: Yes, I think so. For us, good life review involves reflecting upon our life stories and considering what they mean and how they fit together. In other words, good life review seeks to use the events of our lives to find the patterns that make us unique.

Q: Why is this so important?

A: James Hillman in The Force of Character asks the poignant question: "After you've left, what do you want people to say?"

Tags: review   life   reminiscence   past  

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