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.
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.
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.
My father once told me he was the most interesting person he’d ever met. A startling admission I suppose, except for evidence that he’d probably always felt this way. He loved to talk—about himself. Growing up, I witnessed how easily he could draw upon a long list of accomplishments and insert them into just about any discussion. No matter what the topic of conversation, my dad had a knack for turning it into an opportunity to recount his life’s story.... Read More
My mother was an exceptional woman and in her later years had really hit her stride, becoming top salesperson for her company, running for and being elected to public office, finding great support and love in a spiritual community. When she was getting ready to turn 75, I asked about having a big party and she said no, some people don’t know my age and if I feel up to it, I will run again in two years to be... Read More
I sent my Mom the starter kit via email at the holidays and we had several aborted attempts to go through it in the past few months – largely due to not actually setting time aside on one of her visits as though that time would magically appear. Once we blocked the time and headed out the door we were fine. She had printed out the starter kit and read it through but not written a single thing on it.... Read More
Mother lived 80 years; a life balanced with family, career, travel, music, and spiritual journeys. Through her nursing and public health careers, she had opportunities to see first hand how medical treatment can take its own course. At the end of her life, she wanted to be allowed to die a natural death. She was explicit about her decisions, “no blood, no dialysis, no feeding tube, and preferably, no surgery.” Mother’s gift to her family was to complete advance directives... Read More
I lost my husband shortly after his 40th birthday. He had battled with cancer for almost seven years. I had tried many times to have a conversation with him about what his wishes were in the event that the chemo did not work. He did draw up a living will and told me verbally that he wanted to be cremated but beyond that he would never discuss death. I would share my thoughts regarding my end of life wishes with... Read More
I (we) had the conversation in September 1986; six months later, my husband died from non-hodgskins lymphoma. Francisco and I prepared for his last wishes, death and burial. He was 42 when he died; I was two months short of my 28th birthday – his death occurred on March 19, 1987. Together, we planned his last few months. He did not choose to prolong his life, after almost five years of chemotherapy, radiation, and a bone marrow transplant. None, of... Read More
It was my normal Monday evening where I go to see my dad for dinner and some times to go shopping, but most important to watch his favorite show…”Dancing with the Stars”! As soon as I walked in he said “Oh good, come with me”. We walked to his bedroom where he showed me a box he had kept under the bed. In it were beautiful war/service documents, thanking him for his service to his country, including a letter on... Read More
Our dad’s passing played out just like a movie that he wrote and directed himself. My dad was living in Florida with my sisters. He had been in the hospital since September and on Friday, November 13th, at 3 a.m., we got a call from my sister Bella. He was starting to fail and had asked her to call all of us in Boston because he wanted to hear our voices one last time. Immediately, we got on line... Read More
My husband died a year ago last June after 6 and one half years with a glioblastoma (brain tumor). I have trouble letting go of my sadness in not having had an intimate conversation with him before he died. I don’t know what I wanted from that conversation, but I do know that I wanted to feel really close to him as he approached death. I had felt close, loved and appreciated throughout the 57 years we were married. He... Read More