Getting Real About Death
By Sherry Little, Home Hospice of Grayson, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
Let’s face it, I mean really face it—we are all going to die. Pushing that reality aside will not make it go away. It is better to plan now than leave it to others to do for you later. Ask anyone who has been faced with making decisions and choices under stress, when in pain, or when in fear. That is not the right time. The right time is right now.
Here’s what you need to know.
- If you want a say in what happens during your final phase of life, or at your death, you have to make your wishes known—and document them.
- Find the courage to talk with family members—even those who may not agree with your decisions. Your discussions should be open and honest, allowing for your feelings—and theirs—about your choices.
- Think beyond planning your funeral (although that is important) or becoming an organ donor (also important) and determine what you want done, or not done, if you are incapacitated.
- Make your advance directives detailed and official—no assumptions —be clear. Ask questions, making sure that those who will be responsible for honoring your wishes can and will do so. Equip them with the tools to do so.
- Review your plans at least annually—life is full of changes and your choices may need adjusting.
Planning now allows you to do so with a sense of lightness or even humor that may not be possible later. This discussion with your family may bring both laughter and tears. Know that not everyone may be comfortable with your decisions. Have the courage to talk it through.
Take charge of your life. And plan ahead for your death. None of us know when our time will come. Start planning now. Decide. Document. Discuss. Make time while you have time.
If it feels overwhelming or you don’t know how to start, Home Hospice can help. For information or to learn about helpful programs available for your organization, church, or business, visit homehospice.org/advance-planning. Or call us at 903-868-9315.