According to, we gain freedom and happiness when we reach the age of seventy-three similar to that which we experienced as a young adult. Investors would agree with the former date, especially if we’ve carefully planned our retirement financially with solid relationships and peace of mind.

Midlife, as shown in the diagram, can often be a time of crash and burn. It can bring tremendous grief. Some parents see adult children making poor life-changing decisions never to be reversed. Sometimes an awareness of those in the family who are addicted to drugs and alcohol surface at this time. Relationships that have been hanging on for years, finally collaspe. Family breakups rearrange generational  pictures from one year to another. Changing jobs, moving from familiar locations and serious medical diagnosis can shatter dreams as the caption below states ‘happiness goes steadily down until age 53’.

Reading that happiness reigns from age seventy-three onward may be hopeful, but not always reality. It is through this range that retirement years can edge on loneliness, heartbreak and sickness. It can also be a time when poor choices are made and consequences dig life into a pit without a ladder. Granted, it would be nice if our early 70’s offer a familiar carefree lifestyle as the coming-of-age status. Perhaps that is our quest.

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Grief can take hold in many ways during any of these life stages. Whenever we lose sight or fail to find our footing toward our dream, grief reminds us we have work to do, thoughts to define and focused care to be given. Many people try to take crisis times in their daily stride, adding cliches such as, “It doesn’t rain, but it pours,” or “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” These phrases can add to the crisis causing excess anxiety and stress which can lead to a multitude of consequences.

Consider the life-line above, recall times of grieving, and explore ways it has affected your understanding of life’s changing events.


This is a perfect opportunity to scribble, doodle, draw or write a few notes as you reflect over your life.