Declare Your Final Wishes in a Living Will
Ugh, death. What a dreadful subject. Nothing is more heart wrenching than watching the one you love to die or being presented with the news of your own mortality. If money could prevent death, I believe we would all be saving our pennies in earnest. So, I propose this holiday season you give your loved ones a gift that money cannot buy.
Many religions believe in the afterlife, so they encourage the true believers to celebrate death as a glorious delivery into a better place. The problem is that incredibly emotional goodbye at the onset of dying that is the worst. Recall your reaction to the news of a loved one’s prognosis. Ugh. So many draining and conflicting emotions. Of course, you don’t want someone to die but you don’t want the suffering to continue either. The choice seems to run from bad to worse.
Do you know how you want to die? Have you written out your final wishes?
Take for example the last ambulance ride and hospital stay at the time of death. Doctors are trained to sustain life and many refuse to spend time counseling patients and families on the course of a natural death. Have you expressed if you want to be resuscitated? Have a feeding or breathing tube inserted?
Here’s the reality once you arrive at the Emergency Department in distress, the hospital machine kicks into high gear. Testing and diagnosing with multiple specialists at the bedside do their very best to stabilize and transfer you onto your next setting. At the end of life this most often mean the ICU – Intensive Care Unit.
I want you to join me in an out of body experience. You are lying arms and legs strapped to your ICU bed with a breathing tube and multiple needles and lines attached to your arms. All you can hear is the beeps and rhythmic percussions of your breathing machine which is the dull background to the weeping and cracking voices of your loved ones.
I would have to search long and hard to identify one person who would choose this as their last farewell. The drug induced state of an ICU is no time or place to say goodbye to those you love more than life itself.
Here’s my challenge to you – complete your medical Declarations and share them. Decide now how you want your final moments and remains to be handled. Then use the upcoming holidays as a time to share them with those you love. REUNIONCare is the perfect place to store and communicate your final wishes in a safe Circle of Care environment.
There is so much confusion when it comes to dying and healthcare in the United States. This new century is an opportunity to create a new approach toward our life and death issues.
Monica Stynchula – CEO / REUNIONCare, Inc.