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Continuing the Conversation

 

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post about having a conversation with my husband about how we want to age. I wasn't looking forward to the conversation, but I knew it had to be done. And my plan wasn't just about the talking, it was about the doing – getting our wills, filling out the necessary forms, and really making our wishes known. Working in a business that is devoted to successful aging, you’d think I’d be right on top of this.

Confession: I still haven’t done it. I know. I can feel you judging me already. Or perhaps you get it because you've been there, or you are there. I don’t have an excuse other than life gets in the way, and I know that’s not a good excuse.

Since I declared my intentions, life has more than turned upside down and inside out. I lost my beloved grandmother – the one I wrote of often. Three weeks later, my grandfather, who I spent time caring for, lost his battle with cancer. It wasn't but another few weeks later that our close family friend also passed away. And then just a few short months later, I found myself at two more family funerals.

But like I said, life happening isn't a good excuse. After all, it happens to all of us (at least those of us who are fortunate). Amidst all the sadness, pure grief, and pillow-soaking tears, good came from my season of sadness.

I’ll chalk it up to human nature that another person’s death makes us think about our own mortality. Each funeral I attended opened up the door to discuss aging wishes with someone. My husband and I discussed our wishes numerous times in these months. I was also able to have the conversation with my sister – a topic too serious to infiltrate our normal phone conversations. And a long road trip to a funeral with my mom allowed the two of us to have similar conversations.

I know what you’re thinking: “That’s a lot of talking, Cat, but what are you going to do about it?”

I hear ya, I really do. And here comes the big “but”. But, I am not going to look at this as a failure or a setback. I learned something very valuable through all of these conversations about aging and death. This isn't a one-and-done conversation. This is a topic we need to be discussing regularly. And yes, we need to actually do something about it; we need to make these conversations official.

So here I am, once again pledging to make my wishes official. It’s time to put pen to paper. This time, I’m going to do it; I pinkie swear. Life can get in the way all it wants, this girl isn't going to let today get in the way of what she wants for tomorrow.

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http://www.caregiverstress.com/2014/09/continuing-the-conversation/