CWAJ College Women's Association of Japan


Luncheon and Monthly Meetings

March 2015

“Living creatively through midlife crisis”

Dr Alfons Deeken



On the anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake our guest was Dr Alfons Deeken. He is a priest and philosopher and a pioneer of death education in Japan, instrumental in the founding of the hospice movement here. He is a leading promoter in grief support and has written numerous books addressing questions of good living, good humor, and good death. Through his work as founder and honorary chairman of The Japanese Association of Death Education and Grief Counseling and as a member of the Roman Catholic International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement he has developed a wealth of reflections on living. We had the pleasure of hearing his lecture relevant for dealing with crises we encounter in midlife, an enjoyable hour filled with humor. He gave us plenty to ponder, and ideas we can discuss with friends and spouses at home.

The midlife crises

1. The crisis of time. Goal: discovering the preciousness of time.
2. The crisis of one’s role in life. Goal: searching for a new role.
3. The crisis of human relationships. Goal: achieving new depth through “loving strife” (Jasper)
4. The crisis of values. Goal: reconsidering one’s value system.
5. The crisis of too much worrying. Goal: overcoming worries.
6. The crisis of mediocrity. Goal: developing one’s human potential.
7. The crisis of confronting death. Goal: death education and grief education.
8. The crisis of losing one’s sense of humor and the crisis of earnestness. Goal: rediscovering humor as love.



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