How does one broach the topic of one’s own death? How does one have the essential conversation? Each one of us needs to think about their own mortality, have the conversation with their friends and loved ones, see that death is as natural as birth, and decide how best they want to meet death on their own terms.
The Conversation Project, a group dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care, puts it this way:
“Too many people are dying in a way they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.
It’s time to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it. It’s time to share the way we want to live at the end of our lives. And it’s time to communicate about the kind of care we want and don’t want for ourselves.
We believe that the place for this to begin is at the kitchen table—not in the intensive care unit—with the people we love, before it’s too late.
Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected.
If you’re ready to join us, we ask you: Have you had the conversation?”
Whether you choose to get their help (they have a starter kit that you can download), or do this on your own, we recommend that you get your spouse, your children or the close friends or family members you want involved in the discussion together and talk about what’s important to you in your last days. How do you want to live in your last days? Where do you want to be? What would you like done (or not done) for you? What would you like to see happen after you die? What are your wishes at the end of life? What do your loved ones want at this time?
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has published an excellent booklet on this topic: “If talking is so important, why is it so hard?” We at Sukham strongly recommend that you read this before you get started.