When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity
You’ve undoubtedly seen the ads for DNA tests that will allow you to connect with extended family members. While such tests can produce many exciting discoveries, they also have potential to turn up some very upsetting news. This article from The Atlantic discusses some of those bombshell results.
Most of the people presented here who’ve experienced such results are over the age of 50. Many people actively researching their family tree are those to whom retirement has provided the time necessary for genealogical research.
The generation whose 50-year-old secrets are now being unearthed could not have imagined a world of $99 mail-in DNA kits. But times are changing, and the culture with it. “This generation right now and maybe the next 15 years or so, there’s going to be a lot of shocking results coming out. I’d say in 20 years’ time it’s going to dissipate,” she predicted. By then, our expectations of privacy will have caught up with the new reality created by the rise of consumer DNA tests.
The article focuses on a support group on Facebook for people whose genetic tests deliver upsetting news.
One Seattleite’s way of celebrating his 100th birthday: jumping out of a plane
So, what are your birthday plans?
The Mystery of End-of-Life Rallies
Palliative care experts say it is not uncommon for people in hospice care to perk up briefly before they die, sometimes speaking clearly or asking for food.
This did not happen with my mother, who died almost two years ago at age 89, but, according to the article, such rallies, also known as terminal lucidity, sometimes occur. However, there is little scientific evidence about either the frequency of or the reasons for such rallies.
Write Your Own Obit
Far from seeming narcissistic, undertaking a self-obituary can be a form of summation and of caregiving for those who may be in need of direction after we are gone.
This is one of those topics that comes around periodically. Writing one’s own obituary is a variation of the psychological concept of life review, a process of life evaluation that many older adults go through, either consciously or unconsciously. Writing the obituary helps make the life review a conscious process that allows people to record the events, accomplishments, and values that they would most like to be remembered for.
For people in midlife, remembering that we all have to die may redirect ongoing goals; for seniors, such a workout may remind us to view current problems within the context of what really matters most to us.
This article contains links to obituaries others have written for themselves and suggestions for writing one’s own.
What Rereading Childhood Books Teaches Adults About Themselves
Emma Court examines the benefits of adult rereadings of childhood books.
In a 2012 study that looked at why people reread books, rewatch movies, and revisit the same places, the researchers interviewed 23 participants about which experiences they chose to repeat, why, and how they felt during it. They found that repeat experiences “allow consumers an active synthesis of time and serve as catalysts for existential reflection.” Childhood books offer an opportunity to sit down in the river of time, if just for a moment, and ponder the full scope of one’s life. For one woman in the study, who often rewatched the 1999 romantic drama Message in a Bottle, the movie helped her process an upsetting breakup.
© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown