In a recent article the headline read something like, “You thought the conversation about the birds and bees was tough; now it’s time to talk about the end of life!” A light-hearted take on a very serious conversation.
End-of-life issues are never easy to talk about, but it’s crucial to have these conversations before it’s time to make difficult decisions. Most boomers are experiencing some major life changes with the parents or elders with whom they have a close relationship. Often, it’s a transition in residence or the advent of an illness or injury that sparks the need for the conversation, but it’s even better if you can talk before you get to that point. Unlike those preteen years, this time it is the child that needs to take the lead. A few things to remember:
- Be respectful; the elder is not dead yet— it is still their life.
- Be kind; change is difficult even when it is good.
- Be patient; they will need time to ponder.
- Add a bit of humor.
- Be organized; have your points of discussion ready.
- Take a break if needed.
- Remember above all that you love one another . . . and say it often!