By Melanie Brodrick
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.
I spoke quite openly with my parents and children. The children were in their early teens and found it a bit hard and thought I was joking! I told them that if possible , I want to take care of myself for as long as possible, should I become terminally ill, I dont want unnecessary medical intervention. I dont want anybody with me when I die. I want my ashes put in a Pinot Grigio bottle and for my children... Read More
As an 80 year old person I have made my peace with my maker. Last year I had a life saving operation where a large cancerous tumor was successfully removed from from my left kidney. This convinced me that I am not going to live forever. There are issues that concern me. It is not dying. It is about being stricken with something like Altzheimers which will turn me into a burden on my family and the society I live... Read More
I grew up with the blessing of living near all four of my grandparents. As they grew aged, they moved in with our family. When my maternal grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancer, I was in nursing school studying the ideas of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross which I brought home to share with him. I was still asleep the morning he died at home with my mother holding his hand, but I think that the early conversations we had helped to frame... Read More
My husband, Hank, had been failing gradually over the last few months, but had always “bounced back” from other health problems. This time was different, and when he had to be hospitalized, it became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to come home to resume his life. Thankfully, we had had “the conversations”, all our papers were in order, and we knew what to do. The end came gradually, with nothing done to contradict his wishes. He was not afraid,... Read More
By Kevin Haselhorst, MD - Wishestodiefor.com
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer when she was 78 years old. Her doctor gently told her that she had 3 to 6 months to live and offered her radiation and chemotherapy. She said she’d ‘think about it’ and as she was discharged from the hospital, she told me she didn’t want to go back into the hospital and didn’t want to have chemo or radiation. I asked her if she was afraid of anything and she said she... Read More
Routine urinary infections can be life-threatening in elderly patients. Last year my always-organized mother developed disorganized thinking in conjunction with a urinary infection. Over our weekly phone call she claimed that her new medication did not make her feel right. She neglected to mention having a fever was the reason for this medication. The reality of Mom’s apparent confusion indicated she was slipping and not destined to live forever. We needed to have a conversation. I needed to create an... Read More
By Kevin Haselhorst
My father passed away from injuries received in a car accident at the age of 88. I think he and my mom had discussed that he didn’t want any life saving measures, but he had not signed any living will or health care power of attorney. He had brain trauma and other internal injuries and never really spoke much after the accident. He did regain consciousness, but still had a feeding tube after 10 days and the doctors could not... Read More
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
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
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