Making end of life decisions can be grueling. If you’re planning end of life choices for yourself or someone you love, it’s imperative that you take your emotional health into account along the way. Spending day after day making a plan for dying can’t be a reason you stop living. Life is too short to forget to celebrate the little things and moments as you make end of life decisions. Here are some reasons you should pay attention to your emotional well being and overall mental wellness as you make final end of life choices.
Not every day can be about whether or not to call a viatical settlement company as you near the end of life. Instead, it’s important for you and your family to set aside time to create special memories that will last a lifetime for those who live on after your passing. But while these settlements are on your mind, consider ways they might help you spend more time with your family. The way these settlements work is that companies buy out life insurance policies and offer you a lump sum payment that could be used for making memories with your family. People who are dying often hope more than anything that their families are okay but also that they’re remembered. Now is the best time of all to make those memories that will live on in family stories and hearts forever.
Whether you’re the caretaker or the person who is sick, emotional health will be important to the quality of time you have left together. Taking time out for self-care and making memories will only help in giving you clarity when it does come time for decisions and end of life planning. A few inexpensive ways to make family memories are to write letters to each other, start a gratitude journal or jar, have a picnic—even if it’s on a hospital bed—make movies together, and watch them too. You could also bake together, read together, and even pray as a group. These things can all add up to time well spent as the end nears.
Ability to Make Clear Choices
End of life planning involves choices around estates, next of kin, beneficiaries, medical bills, and more. None of these things are fun to talk about or even cut and dry decisions. For each, you’ll want to do your homework and research, but you don’t have to do it alone. In spending time with close friends and family, you can make these choices together and incorporate them into normal conversation. While it may seem like bringing up death or the inevitable would ruin a perfect evening, the fact is that whoever is sick knows it. It’s better to be able to communicate openly than to skirt around something they may need help with. Clear, open conversation will also lead to a clearer head when it comes to end of life choices.
Between making memories and having honest conversations, consider reading books about tight relationships like Cole & Sav. Watching television shows or movies that illustrate the importance of having loved ones around will only help reaffirm your commitment to sticking together during trying times. They will also help you to feel less alone.
When the end comes, you don’t want to be left with regrets. For a survivor who loses a person too soon, the last thing you want is to think about how you wasted that last trip to the massage salon worried about mounting medical bills. There will be time for logistical worries later. When you’re spending time together as a family or couple, do what you can to be present. This may mean learning to compartmentalize emotions and feelings.
There are many self-help books and free online tools available to you if you think you’re spending too much time ruminating on grief and the bad things that may be coming soon. If you find you can’t live in the moment and are too distracted by what’s coming next, contact your doctor for a referral to a therapist, or look for anxiety reduction or meditation techniques you can experiment with. Part of the point of making memories is that you will want survivors to remember the details. That will be harder if moments are stolen by sadness and worry.
While nothing about death and dying is ever easy, the silver lining to knowing the end is near is having the chance to say goodbye. For people who lose loved ones to events like tragic accidents, suicide, or other unexpected reasons, there isn’t the same level of closure a family looking at end of life decisions has in their favor. Because you have limited time to not only spend together, but to say final goodbyes, it’s important to use them. This will matter to survivors, and if you’re the sick person, it will be a part of your legacy too.
If you’re a parent, for example, you have the chance to tell your children what you hope for them. You could consider writing them letters for the major milestones in their lives that you’ll miss. Think about what you would want to tell your daughter on her wedding day or what you might say to your son the day his first child is born. If you’ll be missing these things, you can still be a part of them if you plan ahead now. Doing so will give you not only the closure and clarity that will be important when the time comes, but could also make the future easier on your surviving loved ones.
Living in the Moment
Pain, fatigue, stress from big decisions, fear of the unknown, and many of the challenges ahead can get overwhelming. If you’re on palliative care or have decided to stop treatment, one thing to consider could be full spectrum cbd oil, which comes in a variety of forms. CBD oil is said to help with sleeping, relaxation, and some pain management. While it certainly won’t serve as a cure, it could play a role in helping to live in the moment.
In the end, there’s nothing joyful about death and dying. Yet, it’s a normal and natural part of the life experience and something all human beings have in common. With this stage of life comes many decisions. Making sure to take care of your own and loved one’s emotional happiness will be important in not only grieving but smooth transitions. Life is too short to get caught up in semantics. Do what you can to enjoy every moment left for memories to last forever.