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Engage Friends and Family with Grace
Posted by Melissa Barber on November 20, 2012
"Darrin, long time no see! What's new in your advance directive these days?"
"Man, home is where the heart is. If I had my druthers, I'd want to die here."
"Aunt Freda's gravy recipe! She had everything documented, didn't she? It's no wonder our cousins knew exactly what she wanted for her end-of-life care."
It's easy to avoid talking about subjects which make us uncomfortable, and few are more uncomfortable than thinking about our own deaths. Unless someone you know died recently, the subject of death isn't likely to come up in casual conversation. That's why this time of year, blogs dedicated to end-of-life care rally together to encourage people to Engage with Grace this weekend when family and friends are gathered to give thanks.
Opening the conversation is the hard part, but once the conversation's started you'll likely find people are interested in sharing what would contribute to a good death in their eyes. Last year, I learned some unexpected things about what one of my relatives wants in her final hours. Before our conversation, I had no idea she hopes a particular woman in their community who helps people through the journey of dying could be at her bedside along with her family, but throughout our talk she painted a mental image of what her ideal death would be like. My life is richer for knowing more about her wishes, and I feel confident I'll now be able to talk to other family members about her wishes if the occasion arises.
Starting this discussion is the hard part; so, let's work together. What's your opening line to talk about your end-of-life wishes? Tell us in the comments section below.
Defend dignity. Take action.
You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, non-profit organization, has been the leading advocate in the death with dignity movement. Member contributions helped us pass a new Death with Dignity law in Washington, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the death with dignity movement.