YOUR FAMILIES. Please give it serious consideration.
In Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there was a series of articles
written regarding death and dying and the way we as humans deal with
it. It is a very thought provoking series. I'm sorry that I could not
come up with the proper links to show you the articles. Feel free to
poke around www.jsonline.com to find them. Search under "Doing Death
Better". A couple of them were written by officers of major health
The crux of the articles is that we avoid talking about death and our
wishes about how to die until it is too late. I don't know if most
people believe they are going to get hit by a truck and die suddenly
but the fact is most of us will die a little more slowly than that and
require decisions to be made about our care. And many times we will
not be in a position to make those decisions ourselves. Do your loved
ones know what your wishes are when it comes to those decisions? Or
do you expect them to "play God" and make life-and-death decisions
about you without really knowing what you want?
The answer is Advance Directives and Power of Attorney for Health
Care. If you do not have these documents filled out please do it
ASAP! I'm sure each state has their own rules about these but you can
download the forms off the Internet and fill them out without having
to pay an attorney. Make sure you follow the instructions for having
witnesses sign them.
Jessica and I have had ours done for many years, in fact I made
changes to mine a couple years ago. Any hospital I go into gets a copy
and of course we have copies at home and at our attorneys office. "Of
course you do - you have a terminal illness" you will most likely say
but we had these done many years before my disease became serious.
These are very personal decisions and are not always easy to make
but they are YOURS to make, not your spouse or child or other
relative. Please do not burden them with that when they are already in
a stressful situation. Some people will want every effort and machine
used to keep them alive for as long as possible, others have no desire
to live in a vegetative state.
If I convinced even one of you to do this then this post was worth it.
God Bless You All!