Rev. Lynda Elaine Carré
others carry our stories forward and finish them for us.”
But when we inspire and let our wishes be known,
“Too many of us leave this world with our stories unfinished.
We all have to say goodbye sometime.
How do you plan to say your final goodbyes? Planning ahead for your dying can make a huge difference in your end-of-living experience.
You would think we would all plan for our dying, so we could get that out of the way and go on with living our fullest while we can. But, illness and old age take us by surprise in our American culture. Many people are unprepared and they, their families and friends, and the medical team, suffer additionally as a consequence.
We will be asked to make some of the most important life & death decisions in our entire lives when we least feel up to it, or perhaps can’t even speak for ourselves. Without direction, and even with with good intentions, others will be forced to make decisions for us. The stress and struggle to fill the void of planning and direction often triggers family conflict. Attention is diverted away from the deepened love and bonding that can be shared in this special window of precious time.
Planning is Empowering
Planning is empowering. Planning gives guidance for your loved ones, carers, and the medical team, so that you are cared for in alignment with your values and goals for quality of life.
Planning Gives Direction
So, let’s plan for our dying while we have our full mental faculties and some juice left in us. Even if you or your loved one is already in the dying process, it is not too late to envision and plan how you wish to be cared for in the time you have. If you are currently caring for someone who has a terminal illness or is actively dying, let’s learn as much as we can about what is most important to them so that all care and treatments support them.
Planning Allows for Curiosity, Creativity, Meaning-Making and Legacy
How will you use your end-of-life time? One woman, with a reputation as a wonderful gardener, happily gave cuttings from special plants, along with personal notes, to her family and friends. A young father created a video for his young sons that reflected of his joy in being an outdoorsman and traveler. A mother created loving and inspiring future-messages for her children and grandchildren about her life and love for them. An elderly man called together his estranged sons and healed a decades-old family rift. Another woman held a raucous pre-death memorial party for herself to celebrate her love of family and friendships. A grandmother, the last of her generation, created a book from a lifetime of recipes that would endure through her children and grandchildren. A family patriarch created an Ethical Will filled with guidance from hard-earned wisdom.
Planning Support Services
- Discerning Your Unique Beliefs, Values, and Goals of Care
- Understanding the Pros and Cons of Life-Sustaining Treatments
- Advanced Care Planning and Designated Proxy Support
- Essential Documentation of Preferences, Estate, Memorial
- Creating Legacy, Ethical Will, Auto-Obituary