For all the ink spilled about America's aging population, there's a dearthof books which deal in a sensitive, intelligent way with the spiritual andemotional difficulties faced by old people. Childrearing, marriage,divorce and everyday spirituality are frequently written about, but thelast years of life--when one might think people would need to draw upontheir spiritual resources more than ever--are often ignored altogether.Sallirae Henderson, a counselor and minister, has done a great service bywriting "A Life Complete," based on her experiences working with agingpeople.

Henderson's argument is that how one grows old and faces death reflectsthe choices one has made about one's life. The deep "self-exploration"which age forces upon us is what's so frightening about it. As Hendersonputs it, "when we are old, we are more ourselves than we have ever beenbefore," meaning that it can be difficult and painful to think honestlyabout our lives, let alone change them. This rich book will be welcomed bysenior citizens. It might even be of interest to the young, for itsfearless invocation to "know thyself" is an inspiration--and a challenge--at any age.

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