Anyone who has had to make a life-and-death decision for a parent, spouse, partner, sibling, or good friend knows the burden, the guilt, and the endless questioning that accompanies that act.
Am I doing the “right” thing?
Did I make the “right” decision?
Is this what s/he would have wanted?
Making these decisions becomes even more complicated when it isn’t just you who is involved.
It would be nice if all of our family members and loved ones were always on good terms and everyone agreed about everything. But life usually isn’t that simple.
- So what happens if there’s disagreement about medical interventions when a loved one is nearing the end of life?
- Is a family member or other loved one demanding futile medical interventions based on fear of loss? Or guilt?
- Does anyone know what decisions you would make if you could make your own decisions?
Perhaps the greatest gift each of us can give our loved ones – our husbands and wives, partners, children, siblings, close friends – is to make our end-of-life decisions ahead of time and to make sure our loved ones know what those decisions are.
By completing a legally binding advance directive that reflects your wishes, you can take the burden off your loved ones, remove the guilt associated with end-of-life decision-making, help to ensure family harmony, and make sure your wishes are followed.
And by placing an emphasis on the importance of this for you about your own decisions as well as making sure that those around you know what decisions you would want made for you, you can start what might not be the most comfortable conversation with your friends, family, and maybe even colleagues but ultimately leads to a dedicated, selected plan that can bring everyone closer and even let them know how much they mean to you through the sheer act of inquiring about their wishes.
When done appropriately – and we can assist – this can be a positive life-change for all of you.
There is nothing better than loving and appreciating those around you while they are still here and avoiding the unnecessary regret altogether.