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Gleaning life lessons from an elder author

By: Josh Fernandez, Gold Country News Service
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Shirley Pooley is an 81-year-old writer, based in Granite Bay, who recently authored “Bidding One’s Goodbyes,” a book about aging gracefully by letting go of each cherished moment, one-by-one. It might sound morbid, but Pooley handles the process of dying methodically, and with grace. Pooley’s book is suitable for those of us who are getting older, which is, of course, everybody. All the proceeds from “Bidding One’s Goodbyes” go to Meals on Wheels. Purchase a copy for $10 at Senior’s First (11566 D Ave., in Auburn). Tell us about your book. This is where I got my “Bidding One’s Goodbyes”: We have to go back, with the help of God, and let go — of those people, adventures or things that we can no longer do anymore. I (referred to) the writing of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (author of “On Death and Dying”). I think of those goodbyes as “little deaths.” We have to grieve them. Kübler-Ross tells us that we have to go through denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then finally acceptance. You have to let go of all those things and be happy where you are. Is that hard to do? Yes, it is! We have to slow down. So you’re donating your book sales to Meals on Wheels? I read in the Auburn Journal they’re cutting back Meals on Wheels. I forget, but I think two out of nine people go hungry at night. That really hit me hard. So any money I receive from the book goes toward the Meals on Wheels program. What made you write a book? This is the second book. I’ve been a freelance writer since I retired from my social work and therapist jobs. I’ve written many articles. I also wrote a book on drug abuse (being) a sickness of the soul. It’s called “Can’t Stop Overeating, Drinking, Working, Shopping or Using Prescription Drugs.” Sounds like my life story! (Laughs) I know … and that book’s in the library, too. I’m also a breast cancer survivor and so I wrote a story, which is in a compilation with other breast cancer survivors. I just like to write. I love it. Josh Fernandez can be reached at joshf@goldcountrymedia .com