What we don’t learn at home about the logistics and benefits of self-empowerment through end-of-life care planning, we are even less likely to learn at school, in the workplace or in our house of worship. When it comes to writing the final script of our lives, clearly one of our most important, we are more often than not simply left to our own solitary devices. But how can this be when we are learning how to write almost every other kind of script, for every other stage in our lives? How does this make sense? Why does one of the most important narratives of our mortal lives receive such neglect by our society? I think we can all agree that our fierce stubbornness to avoid the end-of-life conversation at all costs is not that unusual, but it is certainly not a very helpful strategy for a successful plan of action.
One of my most vivid memories of early childhood is that of my ancient great-grandfather. For months on end the wraith-like minister would sit in the same upholstered chair holding onto a battered cane while staring off into a space in the house as empty as my pockets. Great-grandfather finally decided to finish dying when I was almost five years old, but not before he announced to all within earshot that no one can truly know what awaits us beyond our mortal lives. This is where my grandmother (his daughter) stepped in to assure everyone that he was no longer lucid. The mystery of his parting words will forever remain locked away from those of us who were left behind. It snowed the day of the funeral, the only beautiful thing to happen that day that I can recall. Much to my chagrin, I was left at home with a