« with cream cheese and roast beef on sour dough | Main | running into people I hope are my future self »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


You've got me thinking Carol. Right now I don't have anything in writing. After my son died 6 years ago I lost any fear of dying and made the decision that I don't want my life extended on machine support. I guess I better take the next step and document it. Where to begin?



Thanks for the important reminder....xox

Carol Gossett

These things are so very important to take care of.

Amy at love made my home

Oh Carol, we have been at this stage this week with a pet, and thought that it would have to be over and then she - the pet - suddenly started a recovery, and at the very same time other family members are dealing with palliative care for someone who is very sure to be at the end of life and is having pain relief and so on until that time comes. Of course two totally different circumstances, but both as harrowing in different ways, my feelings that I always thought had been so clear have been back and forth and back again this week, but have in a way clarified things in my mind for me just as much as they have unsettled me. This is definitely a subject that we need to talk about more and more openly and although I cannot say that I love these posts from you because it is sad that these situations happen, but I love you for writing about this and sharing with us. Thank you. xx

jacki long

Thanks for this Carol, I do need to get this done, now!
Thank you.

Sharon W.

Excellent post! Of course I won't need it, because I plan to live forever. So far, so good!!!!


Very important to talk about this. Thank you for being the palliative care nurse that you are and writing this post.


Thank you so much for writing about this very important topic. So many of us dance around these issues until we're forced to deal w/ them through a loved one. The hesitation to discuss sickness and death needs to be replaced by frank discussions while people are still healthy. Bravo, Carol.

Janet Ghio

I am with you 100% Carol. I have all my health directives etc in place and have told my children my wishes, but never thought of it in terms of percentages--good point for discussion.


Thanks Carol, for reminding us all of these important issues. We had all those things sorted out for my parents, so at the end of my Father's life at least those things were known, and are in place for my Mother as well. The family is still needing to address those issues for those of us still young enough to think we have plenty of time left. One never knows.


We took steps with these issues years ago and updated about 4 mos. ago. I don't want my children to have to guess what I might want should this happen to either of us. Very relieved to know that this won't be a burden my children have to bear.

Another thing to think of is getting rid of all the excess "junk" we accumulate that has absolutely no value to our kids or grandkids. I've been weeding out all the hobby stuff that I'll never use, all the yarn has gone to charity groups, yada yada...We've lived in the same house nearly 40 years...can you imagine the stuff we've accumulated? I've asked the kids if there's anything in particular they want and put it aside or gave to them on the spot.

Thank you for being the nurse in the know and for making us aware and prodding us to make hard choices known to family and that it must be in writing, a legal document..


Wonderful, tough post. Thank you. We need to have these kinds of discussions with our loved ones early and often.
I've had two patients this month get "bullied" by docs to get feeding tubes. These are older patients with chronic, not acute, illnesses. Both patients expressed dismay at what happened to them. One is having to get a court order to help him get the tube removed. I'm sick about it. My personal biases are showing.


Anne: the best place to begin is by talking to your loved one about what you want. A "legal" document is really not necessary (unless you want someone who is NOT your "family" to make your decisions - if that is the case please definitely get that in writing and have it notarized), the conversation is much more important. If you want to download your state's advanced directives form I have added a link in the body of the post above.


I'm with you! After watching my parents I'm hoping for a lightening strike. (but I've got my papers prepared just in case.)


Thanks For the link Carol.



Thank you for this post. I am the POA and only family member for my Mom who has had dementia for 12 years. I really wish I had known what she wanted on so many things over the years but no way to ask. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. If, in the case of other readers, they are in a position to have this discussion but their loved one doesn't want to, I hope they would consider asking them to read your post.

jeanette, mistress of longears

Seriously one of the best posts on this topic I've ever seen! Love that you get us to think about detailed questions to ask ourselves!


when my mum had her breasts removed two years ago I remember the nurses, kind, compassionate, and so, so nurturing. Their daily routines full of life and death, pain and nerves abound, fear often leading to anger much of it displaced, and yet throughout it all, medicines were dispensed, vitals checked, requests filled, pain managed, there were smiles, occasional laughter, and so much strength. To do what nurses do on a day to day basis with the kindness in which they do it is a resolve that many of us do not possess. Leaving my mum that fateful night would have been impossible if not for the knowledge that she was in the very capable hands of angels on earth. Nurses rock!


This is the kick in the behind that I needed. With no children and family (besides my husband) hundreds of miles away and now being 61, it is time to just get it done.

Thank you for this post.


Thank you, Carol. I have been following both you and Mary Ann for years, but only now signed up to comment. I am 41 and just diagnosed with cancer, and my husband and I have been talking about getting out wills done soon, but you've made me realize that this conversation does not have to wait, so we will be having it tonight. Thank you again for bringing it up.

The comments to this entry are closed.