Read. Reflect. Share.

Everyone has a story. About losing someone close. About what it was like to have the conversation. About not talking about wishes until it was too late.

Explore these stories that others have shared, and if you’d like, tell us your own story. Hearing about other people’s experiences can be a good way to get your own conversation started.

Father’s Day Story

By Frank
Posted on

Click below to hear the audio of Frank Lilley’s conversation with his stepfather, David Plant, about approaching the end of his life.

It was recorded as part of StoryCorps’ Legacy Initiative – an effort to collect interviews with people who have life-threatening conditions.

Also, we encourage you to Share your own story about your father.

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By Kevin Haselhorst
Posted on

What the heart desires amounts to wishes. What manifests from the heart are gifts. Beyond simply a book, WISHES TO DIE FOR reminds readers that life is a gift that becomes most meaningful when wishes come true. While caring for a woman with metastatic bone cancer, the rug was literally pulled out from under her final days when she fell, breaking her hip and arm. Having resigned to not treat the cancer, she was in the process of putting her... Read More

16 going on 30 reason to have the conversation before its too late

By Alisha
Posted on

This year I will turn 30. I am a married woman. I have been with my husband for 10 years now and we have had our share of ups and downs during this journey that is our life. We have not conceived any children and it is not certain to be that God has that as a part of my journey. Journey is the best way to explain the powerful situation called Life. When looking back on my journey thus... Read More


My Mother’s Good Death

By Winston
Posted on

For years my mother and my youngest sister, lived together in a small town in Texas, the town all of the children grew up in. Mother’s activity had been curtailed for about 23 years by a stroke that left her with a weak left leg and a useless left arm. Her thinking, comprehension and speaking had not been affected. She loved to tell stories about her growing up in a family of ten children and now being the last surviving... Read More


The Uninvited guest

By Deb
Posted on

When my brother was 45 years old he began to notice weakness in his right hand. Despite the obvious , “What is going on with my body?” This was very distressing because it limited his ability to carry out his life’s work as a farm manager. He turned to me, his sister, an RN, to help him solve this perplexing development. With weaving through the maze of small town medicine to eventually ending in a large medical center it was... Read More

Do you have a few minutes to talk?

By Anne
Posted on

I was at home one evening, when my mother called. “Do you have a few minutes to talk? Daddy and I just got back from dinner with friends and we have a few things we want to talk about with you…” I immediately made a few minutes, corralling my 2d and 4th grade daughters and telling them I’d be on the phone for a bit, please not to disturb me unless it was urgent. “So what’s up?” I asked, really... Read More

My mother, my model

By Martha
Posted on

Actually, the conversation was initiated by my mother over a period of 40 years. All her 6 children were very aware of her wishes and she diligently prepared for the end, little by little, over time, in the 18 years she survived my father. She disposed of belongings, making sure family heirlooms were placed, organized her will and finances, downsized to a studio apartment in a senior independent living institution, wroteD her obituary, including a photo, providing information about the... Read More


The Love of my Life

By Betsy
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My husband and I had been married for many years before be passed and he had celebrated his 67th birthday ten days before he passed away.He was full of life and energy. He just loved life. He was a painter and a paper hanger. Watching him work was like watching picasso. We were both in the business, we worked together everyday and never argued about work. He was a family man, a father, a brother, an uncle, a cousin and... Read More

Thankful for the Talk

By Pam
Posted on

In 2006 I had received a copy of the booklet entitled “Five Wishes” from a training I had attended because I am a hospice volunteer. My father had passed in 1993 and in the fall of 2006 I spent 3 hrs. of wonderful conversation with my mother going through this booklet. The time was spent focusing on her, what her desires were, the funeral service, that she wanted a DNR (do not resuscitate) and a living will. She told me... Read More



By David
Posted on

My wife died at home in hospice 3 years ago. A year before that she wrote down her end of life requests that the end not be a burden and that everyone was to celebrate her life. She always emphasized that life after death was glorious as she recalled a near death experience from decades ago. After having major surgery, she never fully recovered and eventually made the decision for palliative care as the treatment got more painful and dramatic.... Read More

The Gifts of Curiosity, Inquiry and Conversations

By Stanley
Posted on

END OF LIFE CONVERSATIONS As a baby-boomer who has now faced the passing of my parents and in-laws, meaningful end-of-life conversations have been a source of ease for both the passing elders and the survivors. I have friends, colleagues and students with whom I have discussed our range of end-of-life experiences. While the passing of a loved-one is not without pain or sadness, for both the departing elders and the survivors, there is a greater sense of peace and ease... Read More