have you had the conversation?

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.

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