As Father’s Day approaches and you begin to think about how to honor your father or a father figure in your life, we want to encourage you to gift them with a listening ear as they express what matters most to them. Father’s Day is such an opportune time to remind the fathers in our lives that we love them, and we want to do the best we can to honor their wishes for care from now to the end of life. Below is a list of powerful stories to help inspire you to call or tap that father or father figure on the shoulder and tell them that you’re ready to listen.
- How Stories Open the Door to Conversations by Elizabeth Coplan
- People don’t necessarily want to engage with a message. But a story? YES! It’s like, “Oh hey, let me hear what happened to somebody else.” Read more from Elizabeth Coplan and how she tapped into her personal experience to help others.
- Conversations Brought my Family Clarity by Sabrina Johnson
- “ALS became a social media trend in 2014 with the Ice Bucket Challenge. A viral trend that, to be honest, I saw and thought nothing much of because, like with most viral trends, I never thought it would affect my family. In 2017 we would hear those three letters again when my dad, who I most often refer to as Ton, was diagnosed.”
- Times to Have “The Conversation” by Karen Purze
- “My father had cancer but didn’t want to talk about his health. Or his health care. Or his health care wishes. None of it. He wanted to know how his grandsons were doing. And how I was doing at work. And where we were going to have lunch after his appointments. For a year and a half, I fished for information about his care preferences. Each time, he “hadn’t thought about it.”
- The Machismo Mourns (Too) by Limhi “Lee” Vela
- In this piece, Limhi “Lee” Vela discusses how he broke out of cultural norms that said that men should not express emotion and implied that men were immortal. In the midst of loss, he decided that he would challenge these popularly held beliefs in order to honor his grief.
- A Patriarch’s Departure and the Love he Left Behind: A Physician and Son Remembers His Father by Sodzi Sodzi-Tettey
- Sodzi’s (a doctor and director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement) beloved father was the patriarch of his family. And, as any good leader would, he took the necessary steps to ensure that his family/community were cared for. Prior to his passing, he did his due diligence to express all of his end-of-life wishes. This piece is an act of appreciation for his kindness.
- A Matter of Heart: A Father’s Reflections on Advance Care Planning by Ira Byock
- As a doctor, Ira Byock understands both the importance of periodically updating his own advance directive and working to improve the quality of care across health systems. He writes about how advance care planning at large is a matter of the heart.
- Tips for Starting End-of-Life Discussions with Your Grandparents by Susannah Berlow Binder
- Susannah Berlow Binder, a young woman, imparts wisdom in her piece that guides reader through the process of having meaningful conversations with their grandparents. She reminds us that when we intentionally plan these conversations, they can be incredibly rich.
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