Tag Archives: Death

Find Your Voice!

 

Know how to tell loved ones what you wantWhen you lose your voice, you are unable to say what you want.  It means that others make decisions for you, and you may be left without what you want.  When you are dying, a lot of your strength goes toward maintaining your energy and life.  You will do other things. You will go to the doctors. You will see people you love.  You will take care of the “to dos.”

But will you use your energy to find your voice?

You will have a lot of quiet time, and in that quiet time you will do a lot of thinking. Thinking about your life. Thinking about your relationships. Thinking about any regrets you have. Thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life.  You will think about death, specifically — your death.  You will likely have hopes for what you want at the time of your death.  You might even make some decisions about what you want at that moment and in the moments leading up to your crossing over.

You may decide you want to die at home.  You may decide you want to stop your treatments because they are making you feel sicker and you want to enjoy your time. You may decide you don’t want to die alone—you want your loved ones there. There are lots of decisions you may make in this quiet time.  These decisions are yours.  It is your right. It is your life.

Now is the time to find your voice. 

Until you share these decisions, they live only in you.  You cannot ensure your wishes will come true until you voice what you want. You have to tell people what you want and what you don’t want.

Make your voice heard.

Consider Jerika Bolen’s example. A 14-year-old girl with Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she used her voice to say she is ready to let go of the pain she feels every day. In a recent interview, Jerika said “I was ready a long time ago, but I kept going. After that surgery — it didn’t work and my pain got worse — I kind of sat down and thought, ‘Am I doing this for me or for my family?’ I kind of realized I was doing it for my family.”  Jerika found her voice.  She stopped doing what everyone wanted her to do, and started making decisions and sharing those decisions with those who loved her and could help her make what she wants a reality (Read more about her story here http://www.wusa9.com/news/girl-14-with-incurable-disease-makes-heartbreaking-decision-to-die-1/274264618.)

Your voice allows others to know that you have made decisions. Finding your voice may not be easy, but it is your life and your death.  According to Jerika, “there is a peace in being able to confront the inevitable on her own terms.”  You don’t have to make Jerika’s decisions, but give your voice to what you do want and find your peace.  Once you have made some decisions about what you want at the end of your life, you can find your voice. Share your wishes with your loved ones, and move forward to make your wishes your reality.  That is what is important.

Find your Voice

 

If you need some help in figuring all this out and finding your path, please contact me Jackie@yourwellfinishedlife.com

Don’t Let Your Possessions Hang on Others

As we near the end of life, we often think that we have to give away our possessions. We believe that our loved ones and friends want our prized mementos– the artifacts of our life. Is giving away our possessions an act of love from us or a burden of love for the recipient? My relatives have always given away their possessions to others—sometimes in mass. I am the only child of my parents. My grandparents only had a few grandchildren. I have one aunt and one cousin. I am from a small family. A lot of my relatives have passed away, and I have a lot of their possessions. Sometimes these possessions are treasured memories, but more often they are things I can’t part with because my relatives wanted me to have them.

So many of the items I have from my deceased relatives are not things I would ever purchase for myself. They are not things I would even choose to have in my home. They are items that my loved ones felt were so important that they needed to find them a good home, when they could not longer care for them.

After 16 years, I still have my mother’s wedding dress. My mother’s marriage was not a happy one and no one else will wear this dress. So, why is this dress taking up space in my garage? This dress has never felt like something I wanted, and I didn’t even consider wearing it for my wedding. However, I felt it was my duty to be its guardian. I think it is time to let go of the dress, and the belief that it is important to my mother that I keep it?

Before my grandmother moved to a smaller assisted living location prior to passing away, she put together bags and bags of her things that she wanted me to take to my home. They were all valuable to her, purchased in far away places, and something I “had to” hold on to. One of these items is a vase from Italy. I have never liked this vase, but I have it in my home today. My grandmother thrust it upon me with such fervor 10+ years ago. It was so important to her that I take it then, and now I can’t seem to part with it.

Maybe the loving thing for us to do is to limit the possessions we give to/ask our family and friends to “have,” and be ok with anything that happens to them after they leave our care. The items that are important to me are the ones that contain true memories of my loved ones. These items can put a smile on my face. It isn’t having a lot of things, but just one or two that I can keep as a physical reminder. When I die, who is going to want those items? They aren’t going to hold the same memories for my loved ones. They will just become a burden to someone else. I hope I will not create that burden for my loved ones.