We all have someone in our lives who just seems to know the right thing to say. Someone who has sage advice for every situation. Someone who is WISE. For me, that person was my mom. She was masterful at discussing the most delicate of topics, expressing her opinion and guiding others down a path that she felt was the best for them under the circumstances. She was also gifted at getting others to face life head on: the good, the bad and the ugly. She didn’t avoid life. She lived it. However, she was pragmatic and a realist. She did not fear death or dying. She was a woman of faith and shared that faith with everyone. So when she began talking about “When I die…” it came as no surprise. There was no big family meeting. She just began expressing her wishes several years ago little by little. She began to have “The Conversation” with her loved ones. She encourage all of us to do the same. She was not expecting to pass away. In fact, longevity was in her family. Her mom is still alive at 103+ years of age! When she passed after a sudden and unexpected illness at the age of 79, we (and probably she) were all in shock.
While her passing has left a hole in all of our lives, we will forever be grateful for those “Conversations”. We were not burdened with having to make end of life decisions in the dark. We knew exactly how she wanted her final days to be. We knew her wishes regarding life support, medical care and funeral arrangements. Her estate plan was in place and reflective of what was most important to her. These were the best gifts she could ever give us.
The Conversation Project Starter Kit is a great way to open the lines of communications with loved ones about end of life issues. https://theconversationproject.org/starter-kits/
Meeting with a caring estate planning attorney will ensure your loved ones will be taken care of according to your wishes.
Doing both are truly the best gifts you can give those you love.