The holidays are here and will hopefully find you sitting around a table filled with those you love. Once the presents have been unwrapped, the dinner savored, the children put to bed, and everyone is basking in the afterglow of the day, you might consider it time to broach The Conversation.
If you haven’t yet heard of The Conversation, it’s a concept created by Pulitzer prize-winning columnist and author, Ellen Goodman after she encountered difficult choices at the end of her mother’s life. Because of her experience, it’s Ellen’s goal to bring awareness to the need to talk about our final wishes with our loved ones.
Although it’s difficult to contemplate, each of us needs to share what we want—otherwise there is likely to be a giant gap between our end-of-life preferences and how we actually spend our final days on earth. To underscore this point, here are some of the unsettling facts The Conversation Project uncovered:
- 60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is “extremely important”
- 56% have not communicated their end-of-life wishes
- 70% of people say they prefer to die at home
- 70% die in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term care facility
- 80% of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care
- 7% report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor
- 82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing
- 23% have actually done it
Perhaps the idea of discussing life and death issues is not something your family would want to hold around the table. It can, after all, bring up difficult emotions and the holidays are already stressful enough. So The Conversation Project has eliminated much of the potential awkwardness making the “gift of conversation” an easy one. They now have an online link where you can print or email this important document to the ones you love. It’s a simple form but one that can give you and your family true peace of mind.
What better time than the holidays to show those you love that you care about them enough to free them from the stress and worry of making the difficult decisions at the end of your life. It’s free, it’s quick, it’s clear, and it’s concise. So take a few moments to fill out the form and send it to your family.
When the time comes, The Conversation is truly the gift that keeps on giving.