​Grab a tissue…This will be worth the (quick) read. Promise.

The 16th of this month is National Healthcare Decision Day. It’s actually a week – filled with ideas and resources as part of The Conversation Project’s initiative to “provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities.”

Their mission is to “inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.”

If you are injured or ill and unable to make your own health care decisions, someone else must step in to speak for you.

Having an Advance Care Plan in place is one of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones.

What that means is…

1) naming someone to make health care decisions for you,

2) knowing what you want and don’t want regarding your care and

3) talking with the person you named (and loved ones) about your wishes.

What happens if you haven’t done this??

Let’s use ME as an example.

What if tomorrow I’m involved in an accident and put on life support. (Morbid, I know but stay with me.)

Our daughters are seven. Twin girls named Gigi and Ryan.

If I haven’t named a health care power of attorney (someone to make medical decisions for me if I am unable), I would hope my spouse will be authorized to make decisions for me. We now reside in California where they look to the “closest available relative.” (Note, that in some cases a spouse may not be whom you’d want to make these decisions– just sayin’.)

So, Jason now is charged with making decisions on my behalf. Remember, our daughters are SEVEN. They’ll see me in this state and likely not want me to “go.” I can only imagine he’ll feel immense guilt and desperation trying to decide what to do – keep me “plugged in” so our daughters still have a mom or, let me go. He’d try to assume what I would want and hope beyond hope he’s doing the “right” thing.

Yuck.

Now picture the same scenario and I’ve named Jason as my health care power of attorney AND I’ve also told him what I want and don’t want if I’m in an incapacitated state and can’t make decisions for myself.

Granted, he’ll still have to make a hard decision.

BUT, he can have the peace and relief knowing he’s following my wishes. No doubt.

Side note: In the first scenario, what if he wanted to “unplug” me, but a family member contested it? Sadly, we’ve seen that scenario played out on television.

That’s a mess. A dirty, nasty, painful mess.

I want to give the gift of peace to Jason. To Gigi and Ryan. To my family and friends.

You can’t put a price on this gift.

I encourage you this month to think about whom you’d like to speak on your behalf. Who can ‘handle’ your wishes? I encourage you to think about what you would want and not want. Your wishes.

To help you, I’ve attached the Missing Pieces Plan Advance Health Care Directive Worksheet as a guide – to help get you thinking.

Then, join the movement the NEXT week on April 16th!

You got this.

I am with you,

Jody

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​It’s my birthday….here’s an idea!

A co-worker (who happens to also be a rabbi), share what he does every year on his birthday. He says he spends his birthday appreciating the loved ones in his life. He does this by writing letters to loved ones telling them how much he loves them and shares with them that no matter what happened on their last interaction, that he loves them. What a gift to those he’s leaving behind! He gives the letter to a friend who does the same for his loved ones.

I think it’s a beautiful idea!

A beautiful way to appreciate being given another year.

A beautiful way to accept own mortality.

A beautiful way to acknowledge the gift of life.

A beautiful way to acknowledge the gift of loved ones.

Who’s on your list?

Why wait until a birthday? This act of love could be done any day. Like, today! 😉

Each of these little acts I encourage you to embark on with me can make a big impact on those we leave behind.

Join me as much or as little as you can or want.

There’s only peace to be had!

Sending love,

Jody

#Actoflove #lettersoflove

www.missingpiecesplan.com

How to have your best life NOW

I have a simple (yes, simple) “tool” to help you live your best life.

I’ll bet many of us don’t know what our best life even looks like. And, we probably don’t or can’t even imagine it.

That’s the best part.

The tool I’m suggesting puts you on the path to allowing your best life to unfold with all its magic and surprises along the way.

How? And why do I know this?

Because I’ve done it. I’m experiencing it.

When I talk to audiences about my book, Missing Pieces Plan, my message is this: You can have the life you want. You ‘just’ have to spend the time to dream it up.

Knowing what you want is a gift you give yourself.

So what is this “tool” to help you live your best life?

The “tool” is formulating what you want. The “tool” is dreaming it up. The “tool” is making the wishes for how you want your life to go. That’s it. It’s that simple.

And, it can be however you choose to do it (dreaming, journaling, meditating, all of the above!). The goal is the same – – to listen to your heart’s desire.

What’s it telling you?

 

What matters to you?

Whom do you want to be in relationship with?

What deserves your time? What or whom does not?

Is there something you want to build or create in this life?

What are you doing that is wasting your time?

What do you want to remove from your life?

Where do you want to travel?

If you could craft your ‘best day,’ what would it look like?

How do you want life to look when you’re not here?

If you’re not here tomorrow?

How do you want to participate in this life?

 

Our life is ours to craft.

Here’s how I know. Last summer I set out to move across country back to Los Angeles after our daughters finished the school year. Yet, in less than seven months the move happened. An opportunity unfolded I didn’t see coming and, so much more than I ever could have dreamed up. All of it, outside my wildest dreams.

What I am saying is this, if we allow ourselves the space to dream it, think it, wish it then we set it in motion and our dreams unfold.

Am I living my best life? Well not yet, but I’m on the path. Did I get all I want? No, not yet But, I know it’s coming. If I can dream it, it can be.

I want that for you, too.

All you have to do is want it and make space for it to happen.

You got this!!


Sending you love,

Jody

“Death helps us love life” Dr. BJ Miller

This act of love blew me away!

I received a call from the property manager for the house we are renting in Jacksonville, Sky. I mentioned I am juggling working and mothering for the remainder of the summer. She said, “I didn’t’ know you work. What do you do?”

I told her I wrote a book called “Missing Pieces Plan” that helps people plan for end of life.

From that one statement I learned something extraordinary from Sky. She wants to be an organ donor. She asked if I knew that in the state of Florida your loved ones have to pay $1,400 in order to have your organs donated. I did not know this. She then flippantly said “so, I have an insurance policy so my daughter doesn’t have to worry about where to get the $1,400.”

What?!?

I was completely blown away. And, so impressed with her detailed plans.

She then went on to share that she’d lost her husband and learned more than she wanted to know as a result.

Nevertheless, it led her to make these thoughtful plans for those SHE will leave behind.

She did it because she learned, she’d been there with a loved one. She didn’t want mistakes repeated. She didn’t want others to anguish over missed pieces – when she could complete them.

There are many that have gone before us that have learned what happens when their loved ones haven’t plan. They know the pieces they are left to sort out, pick up, grapple with.

The Missing Pieces Plan wants to help you – whether you’ve been there or not – help leave your loved ones better prepare by completing your pieces.

“You don’t know what you don’t know. Therefore, we don’t know what we are missing.”

Heidi Katz

Director of Business Innovation and Development, ElderSource Institute

Let the Missing Pieces Plan help you fill in what may or may not be missing. So you leave your loved ones prepared. No mess necessary.

Sending you LOVE!

Jody

To order a copy of the book, CLICK HERE.

To take the Online course, CLICK HERE.

Why’d I write the Missing Pieces Plan?

“What if ‘something happens,’ how will you know where I hid the pearls?”  My mother-in-law asked me this before going into surgery a few years ago.

How would I?

Then, my mom had a freak accident where, for a moment, we weren’t certain she would make it. I realized, how would I know where her important documents where, if she had a Will, if she had an Advance Directive, how she would want to be celebrated, and most importantly all her stories.

How would I?

Then, after moving across country with our 4-year-old twin daughters, I wondered, how would the guardians of Gigi and Ryan know our wishes for them if ‘something happens?’

How would they?

“Something happens” to all of us…one day.

As Katie Couric says, “we are all terminal.”

 

And, we all plan to plan for it…one day.

The funny thing is, even after twenty years helping families plan, none of this occurred to me until it mattered.

 

And, it will matter to all of us one day.

 

 

“My family will know what to do.” It’s what many of think when it comes to planning for a life without us in it. Our family will know our wishes, our wants.

But, will they?

Making our wishes known is, I would argue, one of the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones. It provides a sense of peace. Let’s call it peace of mind and that, is priceless.

 

The message I hope to spread with the Missing Pieces Plan is that by planning and sharing our wishes, we give our loved ones a precious gift, a priceless gift – peace of mind. They will know what to do because we’ve planned for it and even better, we’ve told them our wishes.

 

How would I know my mother-in-law’s wishes? My mother’s wishes? My own wishes?

Ask them. Make them. Write them. Share them.

I would only know my wishes if I took the time to think about what I want and write them down.

I could decide the life I want my daughters to have if “something happened” which lead me to craft the life I want for them now. What’s important to me? Education? Values? How do we live into that life now?  

 

It doesn’t have to be hard. 

Crafting the life you want to live and leave can be fun, fulfilling, meaningful, enjoyable.

HOW?

 

Let me help you.

For the month of January, I’m reposting the 30 Day Missing Pieces Plan CHALLENGE!


 

JUST Spend 1-2 minutes a day for 30 days towards getting your pieces DONE! And, you’re on your way to peace of mind.

 

Could I make it any easier for you? No way! And….no cleanse or trip to the gym required! 😉

 

Click HERE for the CHECKLIST!

 

AND

 

JOIN ME on the 30 DAY CHALLENGE.

Follow the Missing Pieces Plan on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn for your daily challenge!

 

 

I am with you.

 

You can do this.

 

Peace of mind is a priceless gift.

 

Gift on! Bring on the New Year!

 

Sending love,

 

Jody

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Now is the time!

The holidays are here! Over the next days and weeks we’ll be gathering with family and friends.

Now is the time.

The time to share your wishes.

The time to ask a loved one their wishes.

The time to share your stories.

The time to ask a loved one about their stories.

The time to tell a loved one one wish.

The time to ask a loved one one wish.

 

WHAT?!? That’s morbid. I’m not going to talk about this stuff.

But, I ask, why wait? Why not NOW?

You won’t know what a gift it is, until it’s late.

Give the gift of peace to your loved ones.

You ask, “But how?”

Here are a couple of conversation starters…

  1. I’ve been reading this book, Missing Pieces Plan and the author stresses the importance of getting our “affairs in order” to leave a legacy, not a mess. And, to communicate my “wishes” to give peace of mind. I want to give you that gift so, here are a few of mine…
  2. Hey, I’ve been thinking about what I want when I die. Can I share it with you?
  3. Taking the burden off of you for planning my funeral is important to me. I want you to know my wishes.
  4. I don’t want to leave things a mess for you when I am gone. I want you to know where my important documents are…
  5. I’m putting pieces together for my end of life plan – is there anything you would like to know? Are there heirlooms that are important to you?

The magnitude of sharing just one wish for your end of life plan is far reaching.

We won’t be here to experience this gift we’ve given our loved ones. But, we can delight in giving them the gift now. We can settle into the feeling of peace of mind. We can feel the comfort we will be giving – even when our physical bodies are no longer here.

Now is the time.

Share just one wish, one stories, one want. Start the conversation. It’ll be a priceless gift.

Sending love and blessings for the happiest of holidays!

Jody

BEST gift EVER for the holidays!

YOU may not be ready to plan for end of life….

But, maybe you have a loved one that you wish would plan? Share their wishes with you?

SEND THEM A COPY of Missing Pieces Plan!!

(It’s really like you’re giving yourself a gift.;-)

Because even if they do one piece – one step in the direction of “leave a legacy, not a mess,” it takes a burden off of you.

  • Whom do you wish would plan their own funeral? Let you know their preferences?
  • Is there a family member you’d like to know whether they want to be cremated or buried?
  • Whom they want to have the silver, the watch, the painting?
  • Is there a family member you’d like to ask if any heirlooms hidden?
  • What about any stories you’d want to know about them?
  • Whom do you wish would have a Power of Attorney so you don’t have to scramble to find a way to pay their bills, manage finances “should something happen”?
  • Is there a family member (or 2 or 3) that you’d like to know their medical desires? What about if they want CPR performed at all costs?
  • What if you could know NOW where their important docs are? So you’d know where the most recent copy of their Will resides?
  • What about know if there’s life insurance?

…and there are so many questions, more missing pieces….

Send them a book! With Amazon it’s so easy! They even wrap for you!!

BUY A COPY (or two or three) HEREhttp://missingpiecesplan.com/amazon

Peace of mind GUARANTEED!!


Here’s to yours!

Jody

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4 ideas to help you pass on family traditions this holiday season

As the holidays are approaching, I want to help you with 5 easy ways to pass down family traditions.

1. Holiday Decor

As you’re unwrapping and unboxing your holiday decor in preparation for decorating, are there any that hold special value to you? Are there stories you can share about an ornament, stocking or special holiday dish? Were any passed down to you? If so, from whom? And who would you like to get them when you’re gone?

Identify just 1 or 2 items you want to write about and jot down their significance to you. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – just some of your notes and memories that you can wrap up with the items in the New Year.

2. Recipes

Food! This is a fun one! The holidays are a time for indulging on special treats that may only appear this special time of year. Do you have a favorite holiday treat? A favorite recipe? Are there recipes you make every year? Are there traditional foods you always had growing up? Are there recipes you want to make sure get passed down? Do you you have a memory of making a recipe as a child? What about a recipe mishap? (Like when I made the green bean casserole with frozen green beans that were suppose to thaw first.;-)

Make copies of recipes you cherish, write a story about one or two, share a favorite memory with a loved one.

3. Holiday memories

What are your favorite holiday memories? From childhood? From adulthood? Who did you spend your favorite holidays with? Where were you? Was it cold? Snowing? Are there any holiday memories you’re eager to make? Who with? Where?

Make a holiday memory book – past, present and future!

4. Traditions – past, present & future

In addition to food traditions, what traditions does your family have? What are you doing that your parents did? Your grandparents did? Were there religious services you attended? What are traditions you want to start?

It’s never to early to start new traditions. Writing them down is the first step to making them happen!

I love knowing the story of my grandfather’s parents collecting a goose for their holiday meal. I love the memory of my mom and uncles fighting over the holiday mashed potatoes. I love having the stockings and ornaments my grandmother needlepointed. Although I am not much of a cook, I enjoy trying my grandmother’s recipes at the holidays and now our daughters are enjoying making them, too.

Sharing heirlooms, recipes, memories, and traditions is a gift. And, a gift that keeps on giving. Best of all, it’s free. Just takes a little thought and time.

Give this priceless (free) gift this season!

Sending love to you and yours,

Jody

P.S. I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts, ideas, memories with ME! Remember..your story matters. It’s your legacy.

Email me at jody@missingpiecesplan.com

Putting my money where my mouth is…

I get it.

People send you emails all day long. Asking you to do something.

They ask me, too. 😉

Guess what? You opened this and I am not going to ask you to do ANYTHING!

Well, that’s not exactly true. I’d like you to keep reading. And, I’ll make it brief.

So, I get…

~ the dread

~ the wanting to “put it off”

~ the thinking that there’ll be time “one day”

Confession. I feel that way about my own story. (What I call my legacy).

So, today, I am putting my money where my mouth is and over the next 30 days I’ll be sharing my answers to the Missing Pieces Plan Legacy Questionnaire.

You know there’s a motive here, right?

Full disclosure.

Here’s what I think. That by reading my story, my memories, maybe it will help jog yours. It won’t see that hard or time consuming. And, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be motivated to grab a pen and your legacy questionnaire and start writing.

Don’t have your copy of the Legacy Questionnaire yet?

Click HERE and we’ll send you one, FREE.

Thanksgiving is coming. Around the table, what stories do you want to hear? What stories can you share?


Here’s to your legacy,

Jody

http://missingpiecesplan.com/legacy-questionnaire/

What keeps me going?

What keeps me doing this work? Helping people plan for something they often don’t want to accept, face, plan for?

Especially since I am not selling anything with proven results. I am not promising something tangible like weight loss or a degree or new found knowledge. I am promising the intangible…peace of mind. I am promising that after you lose a loved one, you may hurt a little less. Your loved one may hurt, anguish a little less after you die.

Sadly, most of us that know this gift have already been through a loss. A loss where no plans were made and their loss was compounded.

So, why you ask do I keep doing it?

Because, for one, I believe in it. I believe it’s necessary just as making sure your retirement assets are well managed or your trip to Hawaii is well planned.

And, who wouldn’t appreciate it when your friends send you silly pictures of them trying to read your book?


But silliness aside, other than my passion for it, what keeps me going is YOU.

When I hear a reader tell her friend how amazing the book is, how well organized it is.

When I get an email from someone telling me how easy it is to read and how important the information is.

 

Or, after a workshop when I am approached by strangers thanking me for putting the book together and sharing my message.

 

When strangers tell me they’ve had a meaningful conversation with a loved one after hearing me speak.

When a friend tells me she shared with her mom her wish for a certain bracelet when she dies.

 

Or, when Dr. Jennifer Brokaw (daughter of Tom Brokaw, of whom I’ve been a long time fan) likes one of my posts!

 

So, it’s YOU. It’s the countless families I hope MIssing Pieces Plan helps – in small or BIG ways.

If you’ve been compelled to start planning or have a conversation because of a post, the book, blog or otherwise, I would LOVE to hear from you.

And the best love is a share. Share the book with your family and friends!

Thanks for being you.

Always sending love,

Jody

Email me! 

jody@missingpiecesplan.com