We tend to avoid thinking or talking about getting older and the prospect of death, but some enlightening experts can share ways to accept and embrace the passage of time

If you’re going through a hard time, or find yourself dwelling on the future, it can be helpful to seek out insights and to delve a little deeper. The past year has made us think a lot about the time we have and how we use it, and there seems to be a movement towards opening up about loss. In a positive way, it’s forced us to examine our attitudes and outlooks, hopefully for the better. Here are some inspirational resources to help guide your own thinking on experiencing, and exiting, the world.

Ageing well

Are you the type of person that dreads your birthday, or doesn’t like to share your age? Or perhaps you look into the future and feel a sense of sadness as chapters come to a close. If that rings a bell, then the new book from Dr Maureen Gaffney could open your mind to a new perspective, that sees the value and joy to found in getting older.

 

Your One Wild and Precious Life

Dr Maureen Gaffney 

Published by Sandycove

Out now 

Leading psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney uses the latest groundbreaking research to unravel our feelings about getting older and encourage people to embrace this liberating process. Taking the key stages of life, from infancy to old age, she explores what we learn at each age, and how no matter what has happened in the past or what age you are, you can find a way forward. This book will positively impact your relationship with time and show that every age can be your best age.

 

Preparing for death

On Tuesday and Wednesday, 5-6 October, the Irish Hospice Foundation will be hosting their online conference, Forum 2021 on Dying, Death & Bereavement: The Art of Losing & Building Back Better. This will be a safe space to examine our collective relationship with dying and bereavement.

Speakers include Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Dr Mike Ryan, who will give a presentation by video setting out the context of the pandemic, and BAFTA-winning writer Kevin Toolis on what the Irish wake teaches us about life, love and death.

Book your place and view the full programme at hospicefoundation.ie.

How we say goodbye

The pandemic highlighted just how attached we are to the way that we show our respects. As society progresses, we still hold fast to tradition when it comes to funerals. But there are aspects of death in Ireland we look away from, that are covered up or ignored too. This book may be about death, but it’s moreso about life, in an incredibly moving, intriguing read.

Sorry For Your Trouble: The Irish Way of Death 

Anne Marie Hourihane 

Published by Sandycove 

Out 14 October 

Exploring the Irish way of doing death — the solemn funerals, the rituals, the creative parking solutions — Anne Marie Hourihane’s new book delves deep into how we care for our dead. From attending funerals, embalmings and inquests, to meeting teams working to present suicide,  to locate the remains of peopel disappeared by the IRA, to visiting Ireland’s most contested graves, the book covers the business of death historically and to the present day. And most poignantly, Hourihan finds herself planning a funeral in the middle of the pandemic when she loses someone she loves.