by Victoria Brewster, MSW
One does not want to leave this decision to family members who may not agree with one another. This is not the time for family to be fighting. Really it is about what the person who is dying would have wanted.
So, this means planning around what is often a very difficult topic. Think of it as ‘The Conversation.” You know, the one you have with your parents, older family members, seniors, clients and patients. First, as a professional you need to be comfortable with this topic and many are not. The question becomes why? Again, it is reality.
“Death is a subject that is evaded, ignored and denied by our youth-worshipping society. Death is inevitable-we will all die someday, the question is when?” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
“Ask yourself as the professional or adult child, how much time and energy have you put into examining your own feelings, beliefs, hopes and fears about the end of your life? Whatever the things are that would make your life more personally meaningful before you die-do them now.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
There are many resources out there on this issue:
Have the conversation with your clients and family members.
I will end with a poem that I think sums it all up:
Grant that I may not
So much seek to be justified,
as to console;
to be obeyed,
as to understand;
to be honored,
as to love…
For it is in giving of ourselves
that we heal,
it is in listening
that we comfort,
and in dying
that we are born to eternal life. – St. Francis
* A blog to assist with grief: http://sandielzinga.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/the-grief-road-not-taken/