There are several great books, short documentaries, and movies out there that emphasize the fact that we are all here for a finite amount of time. However, I’m not sure we really live that way, at least I don’t usually on a day-to-day basis.
We will cover this very topic several times in our blog but today, on Dying to Know Day, I really want to focus on why we need to plan for end-of-life when we don’t believe we are anywhere near the end. Netflix recently released a documentary called “End Game,” and it’s a short (about 40 minutes) look into the struggle people and their loved ones face when the end is near.
In the documentary, the filmmakers interview the parents of a dying woman throughout the film. The father and mother show the inner battle many families face when they don’t know the end-of-life wishes of their loved one–how long to keep fighting the disease with the hope of a miracle versus accepting what appears to be inevitable and do what needs to be done to make sure the loved one is comfortable as they transition.
I have personally been through this situation, and it is indescribably hard. The tension in the documentary can be felt by the audience, and I hope really has them question, what if I am ever in this situation?
It’s why we, at Bridges, want to encourage creating a plan for your end-of-life before you are near it. Loved ones will want to fulfil your wishes and this will alleviate additional emotional stress they probably are already feeling due to the state of your health. You have a lot of control over what happens at the end, and there are some great resources listed below that will help you start thinking and/or talking about this:
- Dying to Know Day’s Big List
- Start the Conversation
The Carolina’s Center – Isn’t it Time We Talk?
- Put it in Writing
Five Wishes (This is a legally binding advance care plan in many states)
People avoid talking about death like it’s never going to happen. What’s scarier than talking about death? Not talking about it. Avoiding the conversation can force people to decide if they should have a feeding tube or respirator, or even when life support should be stopped. Not knowing what a loved one would want in any of these situations can cause others to make difficult choices during emotionally turbulent times.