OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

First Person: Leon Rosenberg, 81, on Death as a Practical Matter (Video Interview)

How does our relationship to death change over the course of our life?

Photo of Jim Rosenberg

Written by

Leon Rosenberg is 81 years old. He is a retired child psychologist living in a graduated assisted living community (and, full disclosure, he happens to be my father). Many of the posts in this Challenge highlight how far we keep death from our experience. Leon shares a bit about how our relationship to death changes over time, and what life is like when death becomes a more prosaic part of your day. 

My father and I talk all the time. I realized after our conversation that we've never talked this long about death. I know the mechanical stuff -- my parents' advance directives and their preferences for end of life -- but never appreciated how he deals with the emotional "existential questions" while being part of  a community where deaths are a common event.  


"First Person" is an experiment we are trying during this challenge to see how we might use video interviews to add inspiration and spark conversation. Let us know what you think!

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How are our relationships with death different across different communities and segments of society? Can we collect stories from other elderly people who have different spiritual beliefs, are living in very different circumstances, or have different histories? Can we talk with people from other age groups or religious or cultural groups?

17 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Alex

It is true that our views towards death change over the lifetime and it would not be the same what we had when we were young. We will get more matured and by the time we have become old, we would be having a very different perspective and idea about death.
http://www.babyloncitytours.com

View all comments