DEDHAM, Mass. — Those who are experiencing the journey of aging have a lot to teach.
That was the idea behind an anthology of essays on “Aging Wisely: Wisdom of Our Elders” published this year, including contributions from several local authors. The book is a project of former Tremont resident Irving Silverman and his daughter, clinical psychologist and poet Ellen Beth Siegel.
“This book is arriving at the right time,” said Silverman, who now lives in a retirement community in Dedham, “when many people are living longer, more creatively and more functionally.”
Contributors included academics specializing in gerontology, physicians, psychologists and caregivers, as well as people aged 68-103 reflecting on their own experiences.
Among the Maine authors are John MacDuffie, who wrote about “Mental Health as I Age.” Muriel Trask Davison Fahey contributed an essay called “A Scientist Retires.” Laurie Schreiber wrote “Elwood and His Golden Nature,” and Nan Lincoln has a reflection called “The 80s Are the New 60s.”
Some sections focus on nuts-and-bolts issues like health, work and retirement, money and driving, but others explore questions of meaning, spirituality, success and how people want to be remembered.
“I would like to imagine that when I am remembered, people will smile, shake their head, laugh or even get slightly moist around the eyes,” one retired technology executive wrote in the book. “Then I’ll know I’m still with them.”
Silverman and his second wife, Nancy, built a lighthouse on their property in Bass Harbor, and after her passing in 2002, he designated the lighthouse as a wedding chapel and officiated at wedding ceremonies there. He also conducted Bible studies and bereavement support groups.