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Starting Conversations: Advanced Directives

For some, starting conversations regarding end of life care can be very difficult. When is the right time to start that conversation? Who do we start the conversation with? What are the next steps after a conversation? Hearing about others experience with these talks can be super helpful. Share your thoughts or ask a question or two below!

  1. In starting conversations about my end of life wishes, I first had to review my beliefs on what I think will happen when I die. Since I am a Christian, I am not afraid to die. I am afraid of the unknown conditions of my death. I do not want to suffer trying to cling to a life that is really not worth living if I am really sick. How do you tell your children that you do not want to continue trying treatment after treatment? Having had a father die of acute leukemia has actually been a blessing for me. He was 91 years old and lived longer than anyone expected. He continued receiving blood transfusions as he lost his different abilities. My children and I actually discussed his choices throughout his life-ending process. Having already been diagnosed with PV, I was able to tell them of my desire to not suffer. I am now in the process of establishing a DNR and Living Will. I believe that they will follow my directives and have peace knowing that I have gone home since they understand my decisions that have been made well in advance of the time.

    1. - Thanks for posting in the forum 😀 This is such a touching story and a really interesting perspective. I admire you for allowing your faith to conquer the fear of dying and for your honest discussions with your children. I know that must have been a difficult talk to have, but it is certainly an important one. Did you plan the discussion with your children or did it kind of happen naturally without a plan? Thanks again for sharing your thoughts! Best, Anthony (Team Member)

      1. The conversations came naturally as my father was battling acute leukemia. He wanted to live as long as possible and chose not to use hospice. As the entire family played a role in his care, conversations about my life-ending wishes occurred as my children, spouse, and I shared what we would like to happen when the time comes in comparison to my father's choices.

    2. For some initiating these conversations may be very difficult. There are individuals that believe if you discuss advance directives and final wishes you are not displaying a positive outlook. Others feel very uncomfortable having these important discussions. Family talks about advance directives and final wishes are necessary and put all involved at ease once these conversations occur. I found the Five Wishes have excellent resources.

      1. I totally agree, @Cindy. Thanks for sharing the Five Wishes resource!

    3. I have thought about this, but have not had an official conversation about it. There is also paperwork I should do, but it seems so final. I guess I'm just not ready for that conversation yet.

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