Taking Time to Plan
We have begun discussing the issue of End of Life Planning here at Cancer Support Community Central Ohio. I have been a part of numerous group discussions that have led to several individual conversations. “End of Life” planning can be such a loaded topic! For many just saying the words brings feelings of anxiety and fear, and ignoring the topic is the best solace for those feelings. For others it stirs a drive to get a “to do” list started, so items can be checked off and be marked “done.” I find myself falling into both categories depending on the day and time. I want to tell everyone, end of life planning is as natural as any other planning we do! Planning for the birth of a child, planning for college, planning for buying a home, or planning for a major vacation. All planning can be stressful at times; but usually, planning is full of anticipation, fun and excitement. We want to tell those we love all about the important and small details that mean something to us. We often even tell those who are only casual acquaintances about our planning! The clerk at the baby store, the waiter at a celebratory dinner, etc.! End of life planning can be something to look forward to also. Are you financially ready for retirement? How to you want to spend your time once you quit working or become an empty nester? Does my insurance plan cover my travel plans? What about Long Term Care insurance? And yes, what do I want my last days to look like? How much medical intervention do I want? Do I want to stay at home or be somewhere with others around to help? How do I want to celebrate the life I have lived? How do I want others to celebrate my life when it is over? These and so many more topics are important and need thoughtful reflection. We will be hosting several experts to talk about each of these topics in more detail. I encourage you to come and bring your loved ones and start having the conversations. Discuss options, pros and cons, let each other know your wishes. It is truly a gift to your friends and family. When the time comes to make those life or death decisions, knowing what you want takes the pressure off your family; they don’t have to decide, because you already decided for yourself! We offer a monthly journaling class. The next class is Wednesday, April 13th, at 6:30 pm. In that session, I am going to spend some time exploring this issue further. We will think about what we want the end of our lives to look like – the last 20 years, the last 10 years, the last year and our final moments. When we understand what we are thinking and feeling it becomes much easier to talk to our friends and families. I’d love for you join me for this opportunity to explore these issues on a bit deeper level. Yours in Hope!
Angie Santangelo, LISW-S,
Clinical Program Director
Cancer Support Community Central Ohio