Is it possible to plan for a good death?
We don’t like to think or talk about it, but we are all going to die. Believing that our spirits continue on after death brings us comfort when we are grieving the loss of a loved one as well as when we are the ones coming to the end of our earthly lives.
Something else that can bring comfort to us and our loved ones is planning for the end of life. More than 90% of people report that it’s important to have a conversation with their loved ones about their end of life wishes, but less than 30% of people have actually discussed this with their family (National Survey by The Conversation Project, 2013). I recently watched a powerful TED talk by Judy MacDonald Johnston in which she suggests five practices for end of life planning. She astutely points out that stating “I want to die at home” is not a plan. Also, and I’ve heard this somewhat often, stating “If I get to that point, just shoot me” is not a plan. Johnston’s list is as follows, but it is worth six minutes and three seconds of your time to watch this TED talk.
1) Make a plan
2) Recruit advocates
3) Be hospital ready
4) Choose caregivers
5) Discuss last words