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!
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…
- 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…
- Hey, I’ve been thinking about what I want when I die. Can I share it with you?
- Taking the burden off of you for planning my funeral is important to me. I want you to know my wishes.
- 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…
- 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!
Early on, when I started working on the “Missing Pieces Plan,” I drafted a summary of the book, Being Mortal.
Being Mortal is a #1 New York Times Bestseller by Atul Gawande.
Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Samuel O. Their Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Atul has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and has written four New York Times bestsellers: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and most recently, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
As a bit of inspiration, I am giving you the summary of Atul’s New York Best Selling book…FREE.
To get your FREE summary, CLICK HERE.
Sending love! And…inspiration,
Read Carrie’s story below:
In July 2003, my beloved grandmother was diagnosed with an aggressive, inoperable form of brain cancer, and it would ultimately claim her life less than 6 months later. She was only 72.
In the weeks and months leading up to her death, I noticed that those closest to her (her husband, her son, and her daughter – my own mother) held fast in their conviction that she would be healed. They encouraged her to never give up (she didn’t), to keep fighting (she did), and to just trust in God (she did this the most).
At the time, I was only 28 years old. Grandma Dolly and I were incredibly close. Since her husband often had to work until 9:00 in the evening, I would join her once or twice a week for dinner and girl time. I had not yet become a nurse, but had always been fascinated by medicine, so she and I would speak openly and honestly about her cancer and what was happening to her body…..usually over pizza and beers. She was the coolest. 🙂
One evening towards the end of October, she confided in me that, while she so appreciated her family’s love and support, she was frustrated that no one would let her talk about the end of her life and her last wishes. She knew that my faith was strong, but that I was also a realist and that talking about death didn’t intimidate me.
So, that night, we sat and talked for over an hour and planned her funeral, right down to the clothes she wanted to be buried in, to what hymns she wanted the congregation to sing. We talked about how she wasn’t afraid to die, but that she was worried about how her children and grandchildren would handle her death, as most seemed to think it wouldn’t happen. Most importantly, she thanked me for being willing to just listen to her and let her get it off her chest.
I happened to be eating dinner at my parents’ house when we got the call in early January. She had stopped breathing, and the Hospice nurse was on her way. We were at her house in less than 10 minutes. After the nurse officially declared her, my mom and my grandmother’s husband were in a state of shock and disbelief, not quite knowing where to begin. I pulled the list of my grandmother’s last wishes from my purse and shared it with them. They were stunned at first, and then overwhelmingly grateful.
They knew Dolly’s wishes. Thanks to Carrie.
If you need help knowing what to ask, the Missing Pieces Plan provides an entire worksheet on how to preplan your celebration.
Carrie, thank you for sharing your story.
A good (and honest) friend shared with me that she gets a “small heart attack” every time she sees one of my posts.
I love that she shared this with me! And, I so get it! I am certain I’d feel that way too (if I weren’t the one doing the bombarding;-).
I imagine she is not alone.
As I have recently started speaking about my book, there is a message I want to share with everyone.
Yes, all the documents needed for end-of-life planning are important. When completed (and kept up to date;-), you are creating a great gift to you and your family.
But, the real message is this…
By jumping into it – you’re creating how you want to LIVE and LEAVE.
“It’s up to you.”
How cool is that? You get to steer the ship, drive the boat, be in charge.
It’s your life.
With the Missing Pieces Plan I hope to inspire. Not induce dread. But, I get it. It’s a hard topic we don’t want to face a lot of the times. Let’s be fearless. I will help you.
If you’re not ready, I get it. Just be sure to “like” my post. 😉
If you ARE ready (and you’re in the Jacksonville area), join me on Tuesday, May 9th at 5:30. I will be giving a brief presentation on the Missing Pieces Plan at…wait for it…a cemetery! YES! Join me at the Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel.
We will have copies of the Missing Pieces Plan for sale.
Reply to this email to RSVP. See you there!