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Pondering the End

By August 28, 2019October 30th, 2019Advance Care Directives

I’m a broadcaster. I rarely get to see, much less talk to my audience so it’s never clear how my work affects them unless I get a thank- you message or hate mail.`

At End in Mind, we try to follow up with people who attend our live community events or use our on-line tools, to determine whether they’ve had conversations about their end of life wishes and if they’ve actually put those wishes to paper in the form of an advance care directive. It takes awhile between the seed being planted to the flowering of a big mind-shift or life change to happen. When it does, my heart sings as it did when I learned what happened when this photo was taken. 

These are some members of a Minneapolis, Minnesota family who recently sat down and using the Five Wishes tool, wrote out their advance care directives.

Linda Singh, (our former executive director), reports that her mother-in-law (the woman on the right) has said for years that she should fill out an advance care directive but gets stuck and confused on some of the questions. She has a stack of unfilled forms at her home.

Linda filled out her ACP a month after attending one of the “End in Mind” events! Linda tried to get her husband to do the same, but he was always too busy. Well, Linda recently invited her mother-in-law to Sunday dinner and said to come early so they could help her go through the Five Wishes document. 

With Linda at the dining table with her computer, her husband came by and said, “Oh, I should probably do that too!” and they both got to work. Then, Linda’s 23 year old daughter walked by and asked what they all were doing and she said “Cool! I should do mine, now that I’m an adult!” and Linda reports the whole thing took about an hour.

Linda says, “Many questions were asked, and at a few points, each one of them wanted to stop because they were feeling uncomfortable – facing head- on the fact of their inevitable death. I suggested at each of those points that we move to easier questions like what music they want at their funeral. Then we went back to work on the harder questions. We learned a lot about each other that day – what quality of life looks like at the end, how they want to be remembered, where they want their ashes spread, etc. We printed out copies for each other and for our doctors, then we had dinner and didn’t talk about it any more!”

Linda Singh

Bravo Linda Singh and family!

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