There’s no denying the inevitable, one day we will all pass away. But somehow many of us don’t believe it, this is can pose great issues in dying with dignity.
We need to look for ways to experience a better ending, we need to reflect on our own deaths and begin the process of accepting our mortality. This can happen through conversations with family members, physicians, and planning ahead. Of course we should have hope if an illness strikes us, but hope for immortality is not a plan. As we age or become ill, the goal may switch from hope for a longer life to hope for more attainable goals like living pain-free and spending time with those we love.
However, we must prepare for the final stages of life. Considering our preferences and values and sharing them with our loved ones. We must ask the question: What is most important to you? What would be most important to your loved ones? One day you might be called on to represent your family member or loved one and it’s vital that you are prepared to fulfill what they have asked of you. These types of decisions should involve a team of people-doctor, nurse, patient and family. The doctor is certainly the expert on the disease, but the patient is an expert on themselves. Too many people don’t have the opportunity to live the life they would choose all the way through to the end, simply because they are not prepared.
When it comes to death and dying, we find answers in honest communication and personal connection. Traditional medicine can do wonders, but there are different types of care, like hospice, that attend to the entire individual as a whole-body, mind, and spirit. Finding the answer for ourselves at the end of life is one of the hardest things we’ll ever have to do. If you’re faced with end-of-life care decisions, you don’t have to go at it alone. Start talking today.