That’s no way to say goodbye

Here are a few questions to ponder that may help you become more comfortable with an end-of-life discussion.

By BATYA L. LUDMAN
May 15, 2014 15:06
4 minute read.
A wreath placed on the grave of police officer Yehoshua Sofer during his funeral in Beersheba June 1

Flowers funeral 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)

 
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My longtime readers will know that over the past 14 years of writing this column, I have not infrequently written about death. As a thanatologist (a word my spellchecker continues to underline in red), I have advanced training and certification in, and frequently deal with, issues of all sorts related to death, dying and bereavement. Counseling people at various stages of living and preparation for moving on is not something from which I shy away. However, many others do, and so I’d like once again to address the importance of talking about death and dying, for yourself and for your loved ones.

A “good death” happens in part because of the meaningful choices you make now and in the future. Although you may not like to think or talk about the time when you or your loved ones no longer walk this earth, most people like to plan how they generally spend their days, and take comfort in being able to do so. While some may say it doesn’t matter what happens once they are gone, as they won’t be here to experience it, others want to know that their end-of-life desires and needs will be addressed and respected.
I have had people in my office express their serious concerns that their wishes will be ignored, and this has upset them greatly.

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