Let Ending Begin

May 23

That end-of-life chatter,Door to End of Life
We’d like to ignore,
Is never that easy,
As we head toward that door.
That door we all open,
While treatment transpires,
When medicine fails,
And breathing expires.
But we wait and we wonder,
When do we say,
Time is up – it’s now over,
And hope fades away?
Our hope is not wasted,
As we struggle for words,
But this talking ‘bout death,
Is still for the birds!
We fear talking, fear dying,
We fear one final breath,
Too much hesitation,
On this topic called death.
But discussion gives courage,
Let us say what we must,
Through discomfort and pain,
We simply must trust.
We must trust our intentions,
And seek strength from above,
This end-of-life chatter,
Is a topic of love.
For if love is your message,
Then fear cannot win,
Trust yourself and start talking,
And let ending – begin.



The Mayonnaise Metaphor and a Free eBook

Yes, we all have this in common, blah, blah, blah. We’re all going to die, yadda, yadda, yadda. I work in palliative care so the topic of pain and end-of-life-suffering is a common topic of discussion in my line of work. Yet, most Americans would prefer to avoid discussing the joyful topic of expiration. Wow, I can’t even say it myself. Maybe that’s it! Maybe we just look at ourselves as a jar of mayonnaise!

Then we don’t need to use the D word! “Hey honey, I won’t be good for two weeks after my expiration date so maybe we should put those Advance Directives together!” (You can get a free eBook I put together with Advance Directive checklists and guidelines  at http://www.csupalliativecare.org/eBookCaregivers.html .

My wife often opens that jar of mayonnaise a few days after the expiration date and will ask me to give it the sniff test to see if I think it’s still good. So, while you’re still “good” have a chat with someone you love about your expiration date.

Discussing death before it’s pounding on your front door is a lot better than dealing with it during crunch time. We’ve all got that expiration date on the back of the bottle so I encourage you to spend some time with loved ones chatting about what you want towards the end. Who is going to be making decisions if you can’t? Who will manage your affairs? What is your password for Facebook? And important stuff like that.

I know what you’re thinking. “Really, Steve – a mayonnaise metaphor?”

What say you?

© Copyright Steve Dahl 2013


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