Be Here Then

why and how to write & create an ethical will, hospice card, or other legacy

Archive for the tag “end-of-life issues”

Here’s a lovely card for someone in hospice care, and about “hope”

Here is a card appropriate for someone in hospice care, IF you pay attention to the word “hope,” that might appeal to those who love floral images.  You, too, might enjoy Brent Davis’s other work.

The text on the front of the card mentions “hope” and “love” and when you are sending a card to someone in hospice care, it is good to remember that hospice care ideally is for those who are no longer trying every last possible way to stay alive — rather, they are trying to LIVE as well as possible the time left to them.

So “hope” could be misconstrued here as wishing them hope for cure, or remission, or something other than what hospice care is.  I might send this card to someone I knew who loved flowers, and inside — depending on the relationship, of course — I would write something about that hope.

Some possibilities:

With all our love, and with the hope of reconnecting on the other side.

With love for you, and love and hope for your family, whom we will support with all our hearts.

I hope you know how much you mean to me, and I love you now and always will.

You and I have shared our hopes and love for many years, and that has been a beautiful part of my life.  You are cherished, and always will be.

You have been the very definition of friendship.  Just as I hope those you love who have gone before you will be waiting to greet you, I hope you will be there to greet me when it is my turn to follow.  See you down the road, my friend.  With all my love . . .

You get the idea.  Check out the photograph, and maybe you will find something on that site you like even more, for a hospice card.


Status update: why I am not writing my ethical will just yet

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?

Lynn McPhelimy’s book In the Checklist of Life

 Lynn McPhelimy, National Aging Expert.  This book/workbook/keepsake is highly recommended, especially to those who could use a bit of assistance in getting all the bits and pieces organized and kept in one simple place.  Short of glitz and fluff but long on usefulness and especially thoughtfulness, this one is worth every penny of the purchase price.

What is an ethical will?

What are ethical wills?  Basically they are a letter, or a document similar in form.  Quite focused, often they are only a page or two long, and specifically communicate one’s values, often with the hope that one’s descendents will also hold to those values.

In addition to values, a typical ethical will include the writer’s lessons learned in this life, and ideally — and importantly — will include offers of and requests for forgiveness.  Read more…

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