Blue envelope open with hearts flying out

Dear Loved Ones: Listen to Your Mother

By Micki Jackson, 05/06/2019

I take great comfort knowing that you’ll step aside and let me go when my time is up.  Together, we had “practice” in doing just that when your Daddy died at home, peacefully, with hospice.  None of us knows for certain how, or when, we’ll die, but if I have a say in my death, I want it to occur without any heroic interventions, which would only prolong the dying process, possibly with great pain and at great expense.

As you know, my advance directive is clear-cut, so this letter is simply meant to reassure you that when I expressed my end-of-life choices in that document, I meant it — then, now, and as death becomes imminent. Please do not think that I may have changed my mind and didn’t take the time to change my document.  No.  I am certain. Let me go in peace, with as much comfort as possible.

If you are in Paris, Texas or Paris, France, and you get word that I am near death, please do not feel that you need to rush to my bedside.  You’ve always been “there” for me in life, and that’s what matters to me. I have accepted that life is 100% fatal — and believe that that acceptance gives me energy to live more fully. I am a very lucky person!

I do not want to outlive my usefulness.  That is the biggest fear I have.

We often hear about the difficulty in “finding the right words” as it relates to death, dying, and consoling the bereaved. I hope I find the right words now, for you, because I love you…I want to press the importance of reassuring you I have had a wonderful life. If I should die and you are thousands of miles away, view our last good-bye as the final send off of joy. Remember the laughter, the music, the memories, the adventures, the challenges that we faced together…and remember me as always being proud of you.

No heroics.  Listen to your mother.  😉

Want to have your letter to your loved one featured on our blog? We’ll be collecting as many letters as we can and hope to share different examples with you as we receive them. If you’re willing to have us share yours, please send it our way (conversationproject@ihi.org). The first ten submissions will receive a TCP Talking Matters pin. Click here to learn more.

3 Responses

  1. Hazel B. Rose says:

    I would swear I wrote this myself to my Children.. The only change I would make is that I pray they be at my Celebration of my Life.

  2. Micki Jackson says:

    Hi Hazel…

    I was just preparing to send this to a friend, so I revisited here.

    Thank you!

    When I wrote it, I admit I wondered it other mothers might think I was nuts. 😉

    After TCP posted my letter, I shared it with friends who are moms…to the last one of them, they agreed.

  3. Stacy Smith says:

    this is a beautiful letter. my adult daughter has cut me out of her life. this has been going on for 2 1/2 years. I think a lot about end of life stuff since I am 60 and my own mom died at almost 63. I was one of her main caregivers before she died. my regret is th a this relationship may not be mended before I leave the planet.

Leave a comment