Honoring end of life wishes – Engage with Grace

Sometimes we become aware of things because of a plan.  Sometimes we become aware of things because of happenstance.  In this case, the latter is true, as the bulk of this post is part of a movement to have us communicate our end of life wishes to our loved ones.  In the professional world I have inhabited to this point in my life, one of the most difficult moments I have had to deal with is telling a family member that their loved one has died.  But it is often a relief for the family, especially if the death was an expected death.

While I have been at the tip of the point of the spear in dealing with death and dying for the last 20 years, I am now moving on to a point where I am in a position to help people make those decisions before they get to that point on their journey of life.  And that is the message of the Engage with Grace movement – that we should make these decisions AND communicate those decisions to our loved ones.

A couple of Texas links:

Texas Out of Hospital DNR form

Texas Medical Power of Attorney (from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services)

Now, a message from the Engage with Grace movement:

Things we are grateful for this year

For three years running now, many of us bloggers have participated in what we’ve called a “blog rally” to promote Engage With Grace – a movement aimed at making sure all of us understand, communicate, and have honored our end-of-life wishes.

The rally is timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these unbelievably important conversations – our closest friends and family.

At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation about end-of-life started. We’ve included them at the end of this post. They’re not easy questions, but they are important — and believe it or not, most people find they actually enjoy discussing their answers with loved ones. The key is having the conversation before it’s too late.

This past year has done so much to support our mission to get more and more people talking about their end-of-life wishes. We’ve heard stories with happy endings … and stories with endings that could’ve (and should’ve) been better. We’ve stared down political opposition. We’ve supported each other’s efforts. And we’ve helped make this a topic of national importance.

So in the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, we’d like to highlight some things for which we’re grateful.

Thank you to Atul Gawande for writing such a fiercely intelligent and compelling piece on “letting go”– it is a work of art, and a must read.

Thank you to whomever perpetuated the myth of “death panels” for putting a fine point on all the things we don’t stand for, and in the process, shining a light on the right we all have to live our lives with intent – right through to the end.

Thank you to TEDMED for letting us share our story and our vision.

And of course, thank you to everyone who has taken this topic so seriously, and to all who have done so much to spread the word, including sharing The One Slide.

We share our thanks with you, and we ask that you share this slide with your family, friends, and followers. Know the answers for yourself, know the answers for your loved ones, and appoint an advocate who can make sure those wishes get honored – it’s something we think you’ll be thankful for when it matters most.

Here’s to a holiday filled with joy – and as we engage in conversation with the ones we love, we engage with grace.

To learn more please go to www.engagewithgrace.org. This post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team.


h/t David Harlow, HealthBlawg

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