Maria Shriver Reflects On Losing Her Mother and Why Aging Is a Gift

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She celebrated her 66th birthday.ThMaria Shriver celebrated her birthday earlier in the year. She had an epiphany about the death of her mother and the prospect of turning one year older. Instead of grieving the passing of years, she looked forward to the possibilities for the future and reflected on how happy and hopeful she was.

She was able to cope with the loss of her mother by aging

Shriver was moved to publish her thoughts in Oprah Insider!She also shared how she transformed her view of aging from a loss to a gift.

Of her changing view, Shriver: “This was the first birthday since my 20s that filled me with joy and hopefulness for what was to come rather than a sense of loss of my youth.”

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She compared her mother’s death to the loss of our past as we age. “What I’ve realized is that the more comfortable I can get with grief, the better.”She said the following about her loss of her mother “It’s helped me understand grief just a little bit better, which helps me face all kinds of losses—people I love, opportunities that pass me by, old identities that used to serve me—with more strength and even a sense of wonder.”

Shriver shared what she learned, and how she’s using it to change the narrative of aging in America. Here’s a peek at some of the ways she is trying to do that, and how you can, too.

Rewriting the Narrative on Aging

Eliminate the term “anti-aging”. Shriver advised us not to try to look younger but to be content with who we are as is. The old storyline about aging—how we need to “fix” ourselves or do everything in our power to look the way we did when we were in our 20s and 30s—needs a major revise.”

Enjoy extra time and make the most out of it. Shriver inspired us all to do something meaningful and inspiring with our time.Now that I’m not building my day around carpool plans and parent-teacher conferences, I’m building things I didn’t have a chance to build before and doing things that spark my curiosity—things I hope will change the conversation.”

Instead of fearing aging, consider it a gift. Shriver reminded us that age shouldn’t prevent us from learning new things and taking chances. “I believe one of the keys to feeling like aging truly is a gift is to continue to stay curious, try new things, and not let the number of candles on that birthday cake prompt you to say no more than yes.”

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Keep in mind that your perception of aging will have an effect on the opinions of others. Shriver reminded everyone to change the way others view aging. The way I see it, we can either grieve the loss of our youth and inspire our young people to feel sad as they get older, too—or we can reframe how we think about aging so it’s something that ignites excitement and hope for our future.”

You can read more of Shriver’s essay and how she is using her new outlook to rewrite the narrative about aging in our country In Oprah Insider!

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