During October, I participated in some discussions at our church titled “Living Better, Dying Better.” I was only able to attend 3 out of the 4 sessions but it was enough to jumpstart my thinking about how to support family members to have discussions about how they want to live as they die.
I think my parents have filled out Advance Directives – and given me and my sibs copies – but it is time to revisit them. A suggestion is to review them every 5 years.
Today I visited my 92 year old mother-in-law and began the conversation. I know plenty of fuss has been made about her will and finances etc. but I wasn’t sure about the health side of things. I took her a copy of the Five Wishes pdf and another document that supports this conversation as well.
“No, I haven’t talked about these things,” was her answer, “but I can see it would be a good idea.”
So I left a purple folder with the documents and suggested she sit with them and write on them as though she was writing a letter. She writes beautiful birthday card sentiments. Her own birthday is coming up in December. So this can be her birthday and Christmas sentiments to us all this year.
I know I’ll have to bring the topic up again – because it is hard, and because she’s forgetful and because it should be something shared with her family.
It is a discussion I need to think about and plan for myself too – so I’ve downloaded the starter kit from the Conversation Project and this Christmas, it will be some homework for me.