Week 4 Lesson


  • Discussion of the homework
  • The Eriksonian concept of “generativity”
  • Discussion of Pretat


  • Hand out and discuss the Vermont Advanced Directive and ask the students to complete it and give to their relatives, executor etc. If they haven’t done estate planning, give them reasons to do so
  • Hand out “Exercises to Continue the Work:” Act as an Elder of the Tribe, Claim Your Unlived Life, Dealing with the Mortificatios of Life, Disidentify with Your Body, Making a Dying with Life, Meditate into Pain, Reflect on Your Ideal Image of Your Dying Process, Reperceiving Death, What Are You Aiming for in Your Life? Write Letters of Appreciation, Write Your Obituary

Discussion of Jane on Aging, Old Age & Death excerpt from her journal:

  • What is the difference between old age and old-old age?
  • How does Jane Wheelwright describe how age brings changes to us?
  • What are some features of aging that Jane notes?
  • How does Jane define death? 
  • What suggestions does Jane include in this chapter as activities older people might do?
  • How does Jane suggest we reconcile life and death?
  • Jane suggests we live on two levels in old age. What are these? Do you agree?
  • What is Jane’s attitude toward ego in old age? 
  • In her old age who was Jane’s authority? How do you think this showed up in her life?
  • Why, according to Jane, is creativity important in old age?
  • What sorts of things should we avoid as we age? 
  • What should we accept as we age?
  • What might be the value of depression in old age?
  • What role did dreams play in Jane’s old age?
  • What was Jane’s attitude toward the afterlife and how did it change?
  • Why is it important that old people tell their own stories?
  • What are some “gifts” of old age, according to Jane? 
  • Why is it important for the aged to have something to look forward to? 
  • What are some tasks that older people should perform? 
  • What sense did you get of Jane’s daily routine? 
  • What is the most important thing to tell anyone who is aging?
  • What does it mean to be “pulled away from oneself” and why does Jane mention it?
  • What do you think Jane’s type was, in Jung’s typological system?
  • Jo (Jane’s husband) died on June 21, 1999. What impact did this have on Jane? 
  • What lessons might we take away from Jane’s experience of old age?

*To print these documents, click the links to download and open the files once finished. Go to File -> Print

Making a Dying with Life

Reperceiving Death

Writing Your Obituary

Vermont Advanced Directive forms

Download the Vermont Advanced Directive Forms