Here’s what’s true:
Talking to your loved ones about their wishes for end of life care can be difficult, awkward, and something you REALLY don’t want to do.
I totally get it.
But having these conversations when someone is not in a crisis is INVALUABLE. I’m serious. You literally cannot put a price on how helpful this process can be. It gives you the chance to have your loved ones share stories, define what “quality of life” means to them, express their core values, and articulate what is most important to them if they are ever in a position where they cannot speak for themselves. Then, all you have to tell yourself (and anyone who asks) is: “I’m fulfilling my loved ones wishes.”
I know firsthand what a powerful phrase that can be...because in my situation, I wasn't able to say it.
With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming up, you may have the chance to be in a room with many of your loved ones. For those of you who are thinking: “HOW MORBID, ANNETTE”, I hear you. Yet, I still encourage you to do it. Because as Benjamin Franklin said: “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Need some help in how to frame the conversation and what questions to ask? Check out The Conversation Project, an organization dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Their original Conversation Starter Kit is a useful tool to help people have conversations with their family members or other loved ones about their wishes regarding end-of-life care. Their Starter Kit has been translated into several languages, and they have developed additional Starter Kits. All are available to download for free.
Below is a video The Conversation Project released last week that drives home these issues, and gives some great examples on how to approach these difficult conversations. I think it's legitimately the greatest gift you can give your family this holiday season.
Do you need some help getting your own items in order during (or just after) the holidays? Reach out and schedule your complimentary 20 minute call!
Have you had a conversation with a loved one recently? Or are preparing to do so over the holidays? Share your wins, challenges, or any questions below!