This place is where I usually post “how-to” and “how-not-to” write an ethical will or legacy letter. However, since very recently I have found myself needing to take family matters in hand for those too ailing to handle those matters themselves, keeping up with my planned posts has been nigh impossible. Instead of writing about end of life issues, I am living them much more personally even than I did when I volunteered and worked at hospices.
Living these issues is very different from reading about them. Those of you who have already gone through the experience know that, but those of us who haven’t — yet — can only think we know.
I realize that this is yet another reason for writing an ethical will or letter to the ones we love, and the ones who will come after us that we can love through the letter’s creation: each experience we have alters us, shifts our perspective even if only ever so slightly, and if we are really lucky, makes us wiser.
Having read those pamphlets and been in those support groups that say “treasure each moment” with your dementing family member, that some of those moments may be the most meaningful you will remember of them — I’d think “yeah, yeah” and flip the page or wait for a new topic to come up. Well, la la la, they were right.
So, while the planned posts will indeed come, they will come a bit later. Right now, I’m living the material I will write about. What about you?