Reminiscence involves sharing thoughts and feelings of one’s experiences to recall and reflect upon important events within one’s life. It helps the adults cope up with who they used to be. Significance of life story of an adult is more than what could be described in words. It not only helps others cope-up with who they used to be, but also gives a lesson to the lives who are listening to the story. When Mitch finally decides to visit Morrie on the insistence of Jeanine, he learns as he puts ‘the meaning of life’, that otherwise he wouldn’t have learned if he was stuck on his boring job (Elias, Neville, & Scott, 2015). Morrie used to be Mitch’s professor in college, and he was not just a professor but also one of Morries best friends. Mitch promised him that he would stay in touch with Morrie but he gets busy in his life. 16 years later, when Mitch finally pays Morrie a visit, he realizes how much he missed his old professor. From then on, he makes it a routine to visit Morrie every Tuesday because they used to be ‘Tuesday people’. Morrie always told him, “Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live”. From then on, every time, Mitch visits Morrie they talk about his life (Elias, Neville, & Scott, 2015). Morrie helps Mitch get over his fears, not just Mitch but things every young adult fears; death, love, marriage and family. Morrie tells him we learn from what hurts us, as much as what loves us. Morries tell Mitch about his father, how when his mother died, his father became an emotionless robot and never talked to him about anything or how he never showed he loved him. Morrie tells Mitch that everything he knew about love he learned from his step-mother, whom his father married after a year of his mother’s death. He tells Mitch that he shouldn’t be afraid to fall in love and should stop taking Jeanine for granted. Over time, Mitch somewhat starts understanding the things he’s being taught. He marries Jeanine because of what Morries continuously tells him. “Is this the life you want to spend?” The last time Mitch visits Morrie, Morrie tells him, death ends a life, not the love people have for each other (“Tuesdays with Morrie (TV 1999)”, 2019). And when Morrie died, Mitch still visited him as Morrie had told him, ‘when I die you talk and I’ll listen.
Above every effective communication strategy when dealing with older adults, the most important one is patience. Whenever Mitch visited Morrie, he was always patient and kind and never tried to rush anything. He listened to Morrie with all his attention and even asked questions about things he couldn’t understand. Like the fact how Morrie could be so cheerful all the time even though he was on his death’s bed. Morrie told Mitch, Dying is just one thing to be sad about, living unhappily is another. He further said he was happy and when he died he would be surrounded by his friends and family. Morrie even holds a funeral before his death because he didn’t want people to say nice things about him when he was gone. He wanted to be there and listen to them, and cherish those things.
Quality care for older adults by their family members matters a great deal. Because at the age they are, they need physical affection and the reassurance that no matter what they’re loved. As humans, we need those things in every stage of our lives specially, when we’re infants or old. A family member being there for adults helps them cope with their issues better. Exactly like how Mitch learned to do all the nursing for his professor even though he was not a ‘touchy-feely’ guy. Mitch was never the one for affections or taking care of people. He was just another ambitious person who cared more about his career above everything. But when he started visiting Morrie every Tuesday, it all changed. Morrie impacted his life in a way even he couldn’t fathom. Morrie told Mitch that he is dependent on somebody for everything he does (“Tuesdays with Morrie (TV 1999)”, 2019). He said dependency is something; society says we should be ashamed of. This is where Mitch jokingly asks Morrie since when is he the one to do what society says and Morrie replies with, Never. Morrie tells him, all our lives we’re dependent on the people around us, without us realizing. When people close to us die, we still rely on them. Exactly like how Mitch never failed to visit his professor’s grave every Tuesday even after he was long gone.
Elias, S. M. S., Neville, C., & Scott, T. (2015). The effectiveness of group reminiscence therapy for loneliness, anxiety and depression in older adults in long-term care: A systematic review. Geriatric Nursing, 36(5), 372-380.Tuesdays with Morrie (TV 1999). (2019). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E463tZdAGn4
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