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The Most Important Conversation


I’m preparing to have a difficult conversation with my husband. We've had more than a few in our marriage, but this one has me a little on edge.

I’m planning to ask him questions that will make us think of the worst-possible scenario. I’ll tell him things he may not want to hear, but that he needs to know. And to make this conversation even more uncomfortable, we will write it all down and tell everyone we know.

I’m preparing to talk about how I want to live as we age, and I’m a little nervous to see how everything turns out. After all, no one wants to think about the time in their life when they can no longer make decisions.

But that very thought, the thought of someone else making decisions on my behalf, makes the control freak in me cry.

That’s why I've made the decision to control my own destiny (at least as much of it as I can). I need to make sure that my husband knows I want to stay at home as I age – and hopefully, he wants the same thing. Eventually, we’ll make sure our children know this as well. Tattoos of our wishes on their foreheads may be a bit extreme, but an option.

And from there, the conversation becomes even more uncomfortable.

“Hey honey, I don’t ever want to be on a feeding tube or a ventilator. Can you please pass the carrots?”

So that might not be the best way to start the conversation, but should I lose my nerve, it’ll do. Perhaps catching him off-guard isn't the best way to have fruitful conversation. We've had these conversations before, but never in a way that was official; usually it has been a casual conversation after reading a tragic story.

I want to be prepared. I want to be prepared to grow old with the man I love. I want to be prepared should tragedy prevent us from growing old together. To really be prepared, this time, we need to discuss details, scenarios, and logistics. This time we need to put it in writing with our signatures, and make sure our physicians, lawyers and family have a copy. We need to discuss it with our family and friends; we need to make sure our wishes are known.

It may not be an easy conversation, but it will likely be the most important one we ever have.



Find the forms and information you should have on hand - not only for your aging loved ones, but for yourself at

For tips on on how to discuss your wishes with your family, has some great information.

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