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Jump on his chest

By Carmen
Posted on

I had the conversation with my family members.

Of course we don't want to let go of the people we love...of course we don't want to appear as if we have "given up" or "lost hope"....but the highest gift of love is the selfless letting go that we must do when the people we love have lost the life that they love and wish to move on....
 I am a hospice nurse who recently had my parents enroll my grandfather into hospice care.  My grandfather had had such a tremendous decline in a short amount of time- everything that he loved and made life worth living, for him, appeared to be stripped from him….one at a time…loss of his spouse, his pets, his home….then his health, his mobility, and slowly…his mind.

My father said, “Jump on his chest” when I asked about my grandfather’s code status…I then asked my dad, “Is that what he wants?” and my dad replied, “I don’t know….we have never discussed it”….to which I replied, “Discuss it please”.  Turns out I was right….that is not what my grandfather wanted….AT ALL….This empowered my dad to make changes to my grandfather’s Living Will and Power of Attorney and his code status, all on my grandfather’s behalf with HIS end of life wishes in mind…not anyone else’s.

When my grandfather passed away my parents, especially dad, did  not have to question themselves or feel any guilt….because they had “the conversation”.  In my line of work, as an RN- before I worked with hospice- I saw over and over again people living a poor quality of life for many many reasons…but the most blaring was no one had discussed their wishes with them…or they denied themselves what they wanted because of what their children wanted for them….and it saddened me deeply to see the same scenario play out over and over.

Of course we don’t want to let go of the people we love…of course we don’t want to appear as if we have “given up” or “lost hope”….but the highest gift of love is the selfless letting go that we must do when the people we love have lost the life that they love and wish to move on….I am so excited to see the Conversation Project and hope that it makes a difference.

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