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He just left it up to me

By Vicki
Posted on

I had the conversation with my spouse.

"Do the same thing for me that you would want done for yourself" and change the subject.
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 him. However,anytime I would attempt to get him to talk about it he would just say “Do the same thing for me that you would want done for yourself” and change the subject.
Based on those words, In the end I had to make some very difficult decisions and many of them went against his families wishes. While I have never regretted doing things the way I did–it would have saved a lot of heartache and emotional stress if I would have had his wishes in writing. Instead I had to try to convince his Mother that he had told me he wanted things done the way I wanted them done for myself.

Since his death, I have been a very strong advocate for having end of life discussions with your partner as soon as you start talking about getting married. I believe if your going to live with someone you had better know how your going to die with them.

If your a parent, you owe your children the same respect. Don’t make them decide for you when your laying in the hospital in a coma or deterioraing with dementia in a long term care facility. Your children will be dealing with enough other issues and sibling rivalry does not end just because your aging–it can actually get worse. Make it clear to them the care you want and what you expect from them. Give them the blessing of letting you pass in peace, draw up your power of attorney papers and do it in a way that protects your children from childhood jealousy or greed. Finally do everything you can to protect them from the possiblity that dementia could take over and cause you to do or say things that you would have never done if you were in your right mind. Trust me, I work in long term care and I have seen it happen more than once.

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