Don’t Wait Too Long To Have THE Discussion

For someone who is seriously ill, celebrating life and relationships is almost a defiant act. Even death can’t take from us who we are and have been for one another. Dr. Ira Byock, author of Dying Well

Dr. Byock, a palliative care physician and expert in end of life decisions, believes that nobody should have to die in pain or alone. He is dedicating his life to making this dream come true. While dying is unwanted, sometimes tragic, and always sad, it’s not only those things. It can also be a time of celebrating a life well lived and the relationships one has made.

Accepting the reality of death enables families to say thank you or please forgive me. When death is talked about openly, it gives the patient the opportunity to express his/her concerns about spouses, children or grandchildren, finances, or other pressing issues. Honest conversation unlocks the door of guilt and secrecy frequently associated with serious illness.

Affirmation: I’m can talk about death and dying.

Coaching questions/request: What are your end of life wishes? Do you know the wishes of your parents or grandparents? What would it be like to openly discuss death and dying with those you love? Take a first step in initiating the discussion.

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Photo by Esther Ann on Unsplash

Eleven Important Words

The art of living well and the art of dying well are one. Epicurus, Greek philosopher

When someone we know is gravely ill or dying, we often wonder what to say. We feel our words are inadequate for the gravity of the situation. I’d suggest you start with these eleven words: Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.

When my late husband, Keith, left for the gym on August 10, 2000, he left a message on a recording devise saying where he was going and “I love you.” An hour later, at age 53, he was dead. Keep current with what you need to say to those you love.

Affirmation: I acknowledge the people I love.

Coaching questions: Do you have any unfinished business with your loved ones? If that person died tomorrow, what would you say to them today? Do it!