Erik Erikson, a theorist helped give light to the way we develop cognitively as humans. He gave us stages of development an helped us cope with death as we reach stage 8. Erikson did this by giving an alternate view to psychosocial development. Erikson’s theory includes eight stages in our psychosocial development that explains how we come to understand interact socially, and how we come to understand ourselves. These eight stages occur throughout our lifespan. To define psychosocial development we say that the approach that encompasses change in our interactions with and understandings of one another, as well as in our knowledge and understanding of ourselves as members of society. (Feldman, 2011) The eight different stages include; Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Identity confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and finally Integrity vs. Despair. Each of these stages describes a particular goal, concern, accomplishment and danger. Stages are linked to one another. Progress and accomplishments in later stages depend on how conflicts are resolved in earlier stages. Erikson argued that every stage presents a crisis or conflict that a person must learn to resolve. Although, no crisis is ever fully resolved, making life complicated, the issue in each stage must at least be addressed by the individual in order to successfully deal with the crisis of the next stage. (Feldman, 2011) As I am growing older, exposer to life's challenges and events has built my character and educated me. So through Erikson's theory of stages approaching stage of integrity vs, despair is the most substantial and is the finishing product of a creation. We are all a creation of ourselves and as our families and friends have impacted us, we have learned and built who we are and gone through all or Erikson's 8 stages of development. Being I am not at this stage myself I went ahead and asked a few family members that I felt might be at this stage of life. I questioned their fulfillment of life, regret and fear or accomplishment. My grandmother Joan, possessed a huge fear of death, and small amount of self accomplishment. Through the years being a single mother of three life seemed to feel more as a job then as blessing. Finally owning a home at age 60, and now one dream was fulfilled another reality set in and her depleting health took a toll on her ability to enjoy life. I can understand the fear of death and not knowing what is to come and worst of all leaving loved ones behind. Age is not the only factor of this stage but a patient that battles a serious illness may come to terms of her faith more rapidly then others. Part of my job is post mortem care, and my first patient was on new years day of 2012. If a person possesses ma deep sense of life, such as myself, death seemed so real and simple. Life is a creation I find to be a spectacular creation often leaving me wonder, how people view me or judge me. As humans we have this amazing mind that is all our own, and our private thoughts and emotions are our unless we chose to share them. Abraham Maslow another theorist believed in self emotions as part of a persons outcome. Negative thoughts brings negative results, and so on. Maslow concentrated more on psychological mind and I can relate to his theory. I believe a positive mind and by providing certain images to achieve a goal is a part of success. Imagery helps to motivate the mind and to stay focused on a possible outcome. I like to visualize for my own motivation and have used techniques to keep a focus for the future when my final stage has approached I will have the feeling of self worth and accomplishment.
When I am old, I will look back on life with no regrets.
When I am old, I will look forward to being a grandma and great grandma. When I am old, I will enjoy each day as much as I enjoyed everyday that passed. When I am old, I will help guide children and teens with life's decisions. When I am old, I will be a person to be remembered as enjoyable and fun to be around. When I am old, I will make a difference.
When I am old, I will smile, a lot.