Once again, Robert Bly offers some sage insight into both the matter and mystery of maturing; and specifically, of accepting loss(es) using the metaphor of ashes (the dispensing of energy and then, what remains).
It may sound morbid but "ashes" is more moribund, a dying not necessarily of the flesh or body but more of the heart; a coming to terms with one life, potential and promise. Bly writes,
Ashes present a great diminishing away from the living tree with its huge crown and its abundant shade. The recognition of this diminishing is a proper experience for men who are thirty.
And if the ashes are not accepted, then
If a man does not experience the diminishing sharply, he will retain his inflation and continue to identify himself with all in him that can fly; his sexual drive, his mind, his refusal to commit himself, his addiction, his transcendence, his coolness.
Ashes is after all about facing truths--the certainty of death and the diminishing approaching our last days in this body. A man may (or will) attempt and to keep the fire blazing for as long as folly and pride allow.