In 2006 I had received a copy of the booklet entitled “Five Wishes” from a training I had attended because I am a hospice volunteer. My father had passed in 1993 and in the fall of 2006 I spent 3 hrs. of wonderful conversation with my mother going through this booklet. The time was spent focusing on her, what her desires were, the funeral service, that she wanted a DNR (do not resuscitate) and a living will. She told me the dress she wanted to wear, my sister, the beautician, to fix her hair, pallbearers, minister, and the questions invoked so many heartfelt discussions. The questions about how you would like to be remembered were an opportunity to support and add to what I thought others would say about her due to her generosity towards others, her faithfulness to God and her relationship with Jesus and how she was able to be like Jesus in her everyday life. This conversation also gave me the opportunity to share those things I loved about her and if I would not have taken the time to do this, I would have missed saying all those things many of us say after a loved one passes, “I wished I would have said….” This made us even closer and she passed in 2012 and I have no regrets. All people should take the time to have the conversation about end of life. If your loved one passes sudden or lingers, you will know how she/he wants to die, with dignity and with a part in planning her/his end of life.
All people should take the time to have the conversation about end of life.