The Courage to Grow Old

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton

May/2014, 96 Pages, PAPER, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819229106



• A best-selling Morehouse author for decades

• Addresses one of today’s most pressing topics

Here is Barbara Crafton at her best—funny, warm, direct, honest, and vulnerable—on aging. “I think growing older is both funny and sad, but mostly it just makes me grateful to be alive and able to reflect. I have been an Episcopal priest for 33 years and have had extensive experience in ministering with the elderly. Now, I am growing old myself. I hate it when people are ashamed of being old. We should be proud!” she proclaims. Join her in this celebration of life!

AUDIENCE: For general readers of all faith traditions, including the many fans of Barbara’s earlier works.

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton is a popular preacher, retreat leader, and writer who teaches at Marble Collegiate Church and at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Reader's Digest, Episcopal Life, and many other publications. She is the author of many books, including Called, The Courage to Grow Old, The AlsoLife, Jesus Wept: When Faith and Depression Meet, Mass in Time of War, The Sewing Room, Living Lent, and many others.


"Germanium farmers are my heroes. They harvest hope and remind us to tend the gardens we have sown in our lives. Crafton has written with grace about taking our soil and nurturing it to grow a rich spiritual garden full of hope, life, and love. She challenges us to have the courage to prepare for the death that will come to all of us. Like a good priestly farmer, she offers great advice on dealing with the loss of autonomy and spending more and more time alone. She does not presume that there is only one way for each of us to reap the harvest of our lives, but instead offers a series of questions and reflections that can guide our contemplation on these years to come."
—Becca Stevens, founder of Thistle Farms and author of Snake Oil: The Art of Healing and Truth-Telling

"The Courage to Grow Old is a must read for every family caregiver. Barbara Crafton—with wisdom, humor, honesty, and reality—blesses us all by bringing forth the issues we rarely discuss whether in regard to our care recipient or to our projected care planning. Family caregiving . . . you cannot pay it away; pray it away or prescribe it away . . . you need all three . . . but ultimately you need to go through it. . . . This book helps you grow through it."
—Gregory L. Johnson,
Creator/Director EmblemHealth’s CARE for the FAMILY Caregiver Initiative
Co-Founder: NYC Family Caregiver Coalition; and NYC Partnership for Family Caregiving Corps

"This is one of the most completely satisfying and rewarding and comfortable books that I can remember ever reading. Like a warm bathrobe in winter, or a loaf of bread hot and fresh from the oven…like a nativity song heard and growing every year more dear and more substantial, so it is with this book. I could settle happily into its covers time and time again. In fact, I plan to."
—Phyllis Tickle

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