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A “Living Will” covered dish dinner

By Kerry
Posted on

I had the conversation with my family members.

At the end, those around me will simply be following my directions. Doing this was, in my mind, an act of love.
 My story begins 15 years ago. I was living in Atlanta, GA and had no relatives nearby. But I was blessed with very close friends who might have to be by my side if something happened to me. I did not want them or my family members to have to make very painful decisions about the end of my life. I believe that the loving thing to do, as much as is possible, is for me to make those decisions myself. At the end, those around me will simply be following my directions. Doing this was, in my mind, an act of love.

I started talking about this with my friends. I asked them if they had thought about the end of their lives and had made any provisions for when that time came. Although a couple of them said they had thought about the end of their lives, none of them had any end of life directives. They just hadn’t gotten around to it. They felt they still had plenty of time because they were all in their mid-forties to mid-fifties. I reminded them that any one of us could have a serious car accident tomorrow and end up in a coma on major life support.

After talking with about a dozen friends over a couple of weeks, I decided to take some action. I invited those with whom I had spoken to a “Living Will” covered dish dinner at my house the following Sunday evening. I explained that I had a friend who was an attorney and a notary public. He was willing to volunteer his time and come to explain Living Wills and answer any questions. He would also have the Living Will form used in Georgia should anyone wish to complete it. He would notarize it free of charge.

But there was to be no pressure. Friends could come just to get information, or perhaps pick up a copy of the form and think about it. Or, for those who had wanted to do something but had never gotten around to doing anything, would be the perfect time to get it done.

Ten friends showed up and brought delicious covered dishes. We had enjoyable dinner and conversations. After dinner the attorney explained what he called End of Life Directives. He answered a lot of questions and finally distributed the forms.

I once again explained to my friends that my doing this was an act of love for those dearest to me. I was taking the burden of end of life decisions off their shoulders.

Seven friends completed the forms that evening and had them notarized. I reminded them to let family members or friends know what they had done and to tell them where they could find their End of Life Directives. I also suggested they share a copy of this with their personal physician.

The evening was very meaningful for all of us. Each person there said how much they appreciated my taking the initiative and bringing us together. A couple of them said they wanted to share the experience with their parents, brothers and sisters or other friends.

What a beautiful experience we shared. Talking about death was so very life-giving for all of us involved.

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