Easy Living December 1, 2020 Article: You Are a Great Daughter and These Examples Prove It!
My family, like most families, is struggling with how to navigate the upcoming holidays. There’s so much conflict within each of us between what we WANT to do and what we NEED to do, not only to be safe within our family, but to be responsible citizens of our neighborhood, our state, our country, and our world.
I feel confident that we will work it out because–not only do I have a great daughter, but I have two—and in addition, I have a great son and a great daughter-in-law. The sons-in-law prefer to navigate around the edges.
Between the four of them, they pretty much cover all the bases on the Easy Living list that follows. The list is basically a good start because as they state: “This list could go on and on. It is not the same in all families. Parents show their love in different ways, as do their children. Your dynamics might be different. You can be a great daughter and do none of these things. And, sometimes you’ll do them while at other times you won’t be able to.”
- You call your Mom to check in on her.
- You call her just to say hi. Or, you call to ask her for advice.
- You tell your parents you love them.
- You cook meals, grocery shop for them, or send them meals.
- You respect your parents’ wishes or statements that they don’t need help.
- You’re there if they do.
- You listen.
- You share happy memories with them.
- You send Mom a text or note to let her know you’re thinking about her.
- You teach your kids Mom’s best recipe.
- You share stories about your parents with your kids.
- You investigate resources that might help…even if they’re not ready for them yet.
- You read a lot of articles about aging and senior health or study up on Mom’s health issue.
- Your parents talk about you proudly to their friends.
- Mom calls you for input. Or, calls you just to talk.
- Dad asks you to help him figure out his Medicare plan.
- They love coming out to see your kids’ games or performances, or just hearing about how they’re doing.
- They ask you how you’re doing, they still worry about you too.
- They tell you stories and share bits of wisdom.
- They send you notes or clip articles they think will interest you.
Make it a game!
- Make additions to the list
- Each player in turn, reads one item from the list out loud.
- Each player writes the name of the family member who is best-described by the statement.
- The family member named most for the statement gets one point for each time he or she is named.
- Use the exercise as a conversation starter.
End of life. While we all know that it’s coming—someday—it is something we tend to ignore, until the moment it gets right up in our face and we can deny it no longer.
Snubbing death has become a real challenge in the midst of the pandemic.
I learned to deny death early on in life. Because of that, there is still within me the lasting impact of unresolved childhood grief. The death of my father, with all its surrounding circumstances, probably had the greatest formative impact on who I grew up to be.
“Daddy went away, never to return home. No last phone call. No last touch.”An Unremarkable and Imperfect Grandma (Life Stories and Life Lessons) p. 95
So as a young adult I made a purposeful change to be candid and straightforward. This is the person I became; it does not always serve me well.
I am now in my seventh decade and find myself confronted by loss with increasing frequency. The thought of losing those who I love without the opportunity to see them again or even to say goodbye has intensified from fear to terror due to the coronavirus.
I encourage all of you to rethink your attitudes about end-of-life care and death before you find yourself in the situation where there is no going back.
11 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Rethink End of Life Care by Easy Living, August 31, 2020
This excerpt refers to quote NINE below:An Unremarkable and Imperfect Grandma (Life Stories and Life Lessons) p. 111
Because the extent of his illness had been kept from him, so many other opportunities were lost. I am quite sure there was much more that he would have liked to say to help guide me into adult life. As it was, he didn’t even have the chance to say, “Goodbye.”
- ONE: At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent—Barbara Bush
No matter what your life stage there is benefit from thinking with an end-of-life mindset.
- TWO: In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years—Abraham Lincoln
“Quality of life” is vital to end of life care.
- THREE: It’s not what you have at the end of life, it’s what you leave behind that matters—Stedman Graham
What legacy will you leave behind? How will you be remembered? What values did you impart? What impact did you have on others?
- FOUR: Our worst fear isn’t the end of life but the end of memories—Tom Rachman
How will we be remembered? Make memories loved ones will cherish.
- FIVE: I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end—Gilda Radner
Life does not always go the way we want. Unpredictability is both the struggle and the beauty.
- SIX: In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive. And at the end of life, we need others to survive. But here’s the secret, in between, we need others as well—Morrie Schwartz
We neglect to consider all the ways we need others throughout life and all the ways we are needed, even as we near the end of life.
- SEVEN: Culturally, now, we’re really tight around death, and as a result I think people miss out on a lot of the beautiful aspects of the end of life process that can be very helpful for the grieving process, that can be a really beautiful part of transition of life that we don’t get to experience because it’s not in the conversation—Chrysta Bell
When we avoid talking about end of life, we deny ourselves the opportunity to be involved in our end of life care. Confront what is happening. Talking about your feelings and making your preferences known benefits both you and those around you.
- EIGHT: Have a conversation with your family about your end-of-life wishes while you are healthy. No one wants to have that discussion… but if you do, you’ll be giving your loved ones a tremendous gift, since they won’t have to guess what your wishes would have been, and it takes the onus of responsibility off of them—Jodi Picoult
Or: “End of life decisions should not be made at the end of life.” Give your family the gift by planning ahead and sharing your wishes for end of life care. If you wait until the crisis is upon you, it may be too late for you to express your wishes.
- NINE: Having the choice at the end of my life has become incredibly important. It has given me a sense of peace during a time that otherwise would be dominated by fear, uncertainty, and pain—Brittany Maynard
Choice is vital in end of life care. A sense of choice through advance care planning helps reduce fear and uncertainty and gives peace.
- TEN: You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die—Cicely Saunders
In trying to deny or hide from death, too many miss out on the palliative care available for better living during the process of dying.
- ELEVEN: The end of life deserves as much beauty, care, and respect as the beginning—Anonymous
In summary of end of life care.
This excerpt refers to Quote TEN above.What to Do about Mama? p. 171
A hospice group supplied my mother-in-law with a transport chair so I could get her out of the house to go to the senior center, and with travel oxygen so she could go to the beach with her daughter. In other words, although hospice eases the process of dying, it also facilitates and encourages the process of living.