There’s a time when all of us will need to say goodbye to this world and to our loved ones. At End in Mind, we think this difficult but meaningful transition can be made a little easier if there is some clarity surrounding key decisions as life winds down. It takes courage to have these tough conversations. We’re here to help.

Lori Jacobwith and her father Don Jacobwith.

One of our incredible board members, Lori L. Jacobwith, understands the value of having these conversations early and often. Lori’s father is in the end stages of Alzheimer’s. He turned 84 on October 1, 2019. While he doesn’t recognize his daughter, she says he responds to the warmth in her voice when she says she loves him and recognizes her as someone he knows, even though he doesn’t remember he has children or that Lori is his daughter.

Lori says her work with End in Mind is underscored by the lessons her father is teaching her about living and dying. She says she’s discovered that dying is a family activity. “There have been lots of details to pay attention to during the past 2 1/2 years Dad has been actively declining”, Lori said. “We’ve found, in our family, that there is an important job for each of us four children, my Mom, and Dad’s brother and sister. Some activities are about money, planning and conversations about life-saving care. Other activities that are equally important are about making certain Dad feels loved and not forgotten.”

As to the importance of talking about end of life wishes, Lori says: “Fortunately, our family had conversations with our parents more than 15 years ago about end of life medical care. We have established Power of Attorney for financial and medical decisions. Doing this took nudging, but it removed the chance for difficult conversations as my parents have gotten older and the decisions would have become more emotional. “

Don Jacobwith, his brother Dan and sister Janet as children.

What help would you need in order talk to your loved ones? Let us know.

We’re creating new tools to help individuals, families and whole communities have these life affirming conversations. Please support our efforts by clicking here and investing in End in Mind.