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End of Life
Talking about Your Final Wishes
Death is a natural part of life - but for most of us, talking about it isn't. Most people are
uncomfortable talking, or even thinking, about what will happen when they or a loved one
But, avoiding the topic doesn't stop death from happening. Not talking about it doesn't ease
the pain associated with loss. Many people avoid talking about end of life because of their
fears: suffering, pain, separation from loved ones and the unknown. These fears keep them
from dealing with life's final lesson and make it harder to plan their lives as they wish. Not
talking can make it harder for those left behind.
Why is it so important?
Most of us hope that we will die quickly, but the fact is that many of us will die after a long,
slow decline. That's why talking and planning for your death is so important to your well-
being and your loved ones' peace of mind.
Facing our fears is the first step towards planning for the future. Talking and planning for
your death is the best way to ensure that your wishes will be fulfilled. It can ensure you will
be able to live your life to the fullest until the end and live it the way you want.
Making decisions about how you want to spend your final days is not simple. There are many
factors and options available today that may influence your care at the end of life. Where do I
want to die? Who will take care of me? What do I have to do to achieve a "good death?"
These questions raise just a few of the issues to be considered in deciding your care at the
end of life.
Another focus is on what kind of treatment you want during your final days. While some of
the issues related to end-of-life care haven't changed for generations, new issues make
decisions even more challenging. Also, health care has changed so quickly that there are new
medical technologies and treatments that can extend your life well beyond its natural course.
When you were born, your parents spent nine months preparing for your birth.