The Last Taboo Blog

Ready to Give Your Loved Ones One More Gift?

  • By: Anne Bonaparte
  • Published: January 6, 2021, 1093 days ago

The relatives have all gone home. The kids are going back to school. The holiday season is officially over. All that’s left is to decide what to do with those scented candles, golf neckties and socks with toes.

But there is one very important gift that may not have been on your list this year – either on the list of things you wanted or the things you wanted to give: the gift of planning… specifically, end-of-life planning.

Recently, the team at DeathWise interviewed a number of people about the benefits and challenges of thinking about, talking about and documenting their end-of-life desires. You can see and hear them here. (Scroll down to our video wall.)

What came through loud and clear was that planning is a gift for those left behind. We all have very personal opinions about what we would wish – or not wish – at the end of our lives. And it’s very important that those who love us understand what we want so our wishes can be followed, especially if we cannot speak for ourselves.

Finding the perfect time to “have the conversation” is challenging. Death planning is not a topic that usually appears at the top of anyone’s to-do list. And it’s not the most popular topic of conversation about the holiday dinner table. But taking the initiative with your loved ones to talk about your own and their desires during this profound life transition is a gift that will be treasured forever.

Family Dinner

Family Dinner (Photo credit: terriem)

There are ways to get the conversation started. Every family has a story about a mother, father, aunt, uncle or lady next door whose failure to plan for the end of their lives caused conflict, confusion and heartbreak for their loved ones. And many also probably have a story about someone who made it clear to everyone what she desired medically, financially and even emotionally at the end of her life – and what a big difference that made to the people who cared for her.

There are also numerous articles being written on the topic that can serve as icebreakers. A recent opinion piece in The New York Times provided some good data and perspective on the value of the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) approach to end of life planning. Then there are durable powers of attorney for healthcare and Advance Directive documents. You can learn more about all of these important legal documents here.

So as we begin a new year, consider a bold gift to the people you love. Start the Conversation. Make your Decisions. Communicate your Wishes.

And remember, DeathWise can help.

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