HELP: My kids are so different; I just know they will argue over what’s best for me!
The good news is that you have children that care about you! Unfortunately, family disagreements are typically exacerbated in stressful times. You may have raised such strong-willed children that they don’t listen to your wants and needs. You may feel strong armed or treated like a child. It’s the last thing you need towards the end of your life. Thankfully, you don’t need to navigate this alone.
One option is to engage an independent third party to help you think and express your desires to your family. Following a few one-on-one conversations focused on your values and wishes, an end-of-life doula can draft a written end-of-life plan for you to share with your children and/or substitute decision maker(s). Because this plan is focused on your values and does not try to predict all unforeseen events or conditions, it remains flexible and can also help inform your health care team. It’s never too soon to develop a plan.
At the same time, your end-of-life doula can also support you in reviewing your life, identifying the memories you would like to leave behind, and concluding some of your relationships. It’s never too early to embark on this meaningful work. It doesn’t need to be bleak or anxiety provoking, it can be beautiful and peaceful if done while there is time to shift your attention and intensions.
With an end-of-life plan, your children will no longer be fighting over what they think is best for you but can come together to honour your wishes. This plan becomes a gift for your loved ones. It decreases one area of potential disagreement and reduces the agony of second-guessing decisions, they made for you.