End of Life: It happens to our pets, our plants, our cars, and yes, even to us. It’s inevitable, and it’s an issue that is receiving more and more attention. Why? Because we’re realizing that with knowledge and action, we actually will be able to have some control over our end of life.
I was fortunate, my parents were planners. They had a revocable trust, a list of their assets, bank accounts, and as appropriate, title was held in the name of their trust. They showed me the list, where they kept it and updated it on a regular basis.
They were also realists, having lived through the 1929 depression and World War II. They understood that things change, nothing is forever, and they lived each day to the fullest. When they learned they had terminal cancer, they were of course scared, not ready to leave this world, but at their core they were prepared and accepted that their time on this earth was coming to an end.
It was not that easy for me, and in fact 19 years later I still miss them. Today is my father’s birthday. In my world September 1 will always be remembered as dad’s birthday, a day of celebration. I love you dad, then, now and forever.
I will never forget that day in October when my mom asked me if I would do something for her. An only child, I was ready to say yes before hearing the question, but for some reason I waited for her request. “Would you take care of me so that I can live the last few months of my life at home, and not have to die at a hospital or nursing home?” That request changed my life. I had no idea how I would honor her wish, but I said yes, and with help from above and hospice, I honored that wish, taking an end-of-life journey like no other.
I had desperately wished I could find a book that would explain what hospice was, how it worked, and what I might experience as together we traveled that dreaded road. Years later I wrote a book to share my story, with the hope that learning about hospice and my end-of-life experience might make other’s journey a bit easier.
My book, “Caring for My Mom, with Love, Laughter and Tears” is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=caring+for+my+mom+with+love+laughter+and+tears I’m available to talk about my journey and to listen to yours. I’m starting this blog to open conversation about death and dying, to help change our culture so my when my grandchildren are my age, they too will enjoy each good day, acknowledge that death is inevitable, care for others and the circle of life will be unbroken.