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We Never Talked About Emotions

By Joan
Posted on

I wish I had the conversation with my grandparent.

My beloved and only grandparent was struggling with cancer and needed transfusions. She was totally demented, living in foster care, and had a very low quality of life. I was tasked by the family with making the decision on whether, or not, to terminate her medical care. I was 24. I was not prepared for that decision. In my family, then, we didn’t talk about emotions or anything difficult. I never had the chance to ask what she wanted. I did what I believed was morally correct for her. Now I teach classes about end of life care and talk about this experience several times a year, and each time I tear up. Because I don’t know if she would have made the same choice, and she should have been able to tell us what SHE wanted.

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