The dying must often feel this way—steaming along just fine, while on ahead someone has torn up the rails. — Annie Dillard
For Next Time
To prepare for the next workshop:
- Fill in advance directive forms or Five Wishes booklets. Make a plan for sharing them with medical people and loved ones.
- Make a list in your journal of end-of-life decisions that need to be made and discuss that list with loved ones. Here are possible questions:
- Do I want to preplan my funeral? (If yes, speaking with their minister is recommended.)
- What do I wish to be done with my body or remains?
- What financial and legal decisions need to be made, and whose help do I need in making them?
- What do I want to happen with precious personal possessions?
- Complete your artistic response to death and dying, such as a photograph, drawing, painting, poem, prose, song, music, ceramics, or dance.
Find Out More
- Download the Conversation Starter Kit from the Conversation Project for help in talking with loved ones about end-of-life issues.
- Watch "Being Mortal," Frontline, PBS. In the video, surgeon Atul Gawande examines the relationships doctors have with patients nearing the end of life.
- Read Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan Books, 2014), which argues for a revisioning of end-of-life conversations and decisions.