When Bert reached 70 he decided to change his lifestyle so he could live longer. He dieted, swam, jogged every day. In a few months he had lost 10kg, reduced his waist and expanded his chest. He dressed very smartly, shaved daily and had weekly haircuts. One day walking home from the barbers he was hit by a bus! As he lay dying in the road he cried out “God, how could you do this to me?”. And a voice replied “Sorry Bert I just didn’t recognise you!
The Forever Young Brigade are in Existential Denial, denying old age and the truth about our lives. They miss Erikson’s Maturity Stage by choosing to ignore their past experiences, by not slowing down, by not reflecting to develop a positive mind set and self image. Ultimately, “really old” old age comes as a shock to these people without having developed a sense of fulfilment which will see them through the “end” without any regrets or bitterness.