Long, long overdue, we have finally dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on all those pesky documents that grown ups are supposed to have – wills, and trusts, and so forth. And while I was in the process of doing this, someone actually raised the same topic on a bulletin board I follow, mentioning how satisfying it was to know it was done. I agree!!
That said, addressing health care directives, living wills and, ultimately, what I want in terms of end of life treatment wasn’t exactly easy. Cathartic, important – to be sure. But going through dozens and dozens of scenarios of various forms of incapacitation, and what I might want so as to give others a sense of what I might want at the end of my life wasn’t without its emotional pitfalls. There were afternoons when I would just cry – happy to excise the tension, but deeply sad and resentful that I had to think about it at all. I get why so many people just put their head in the sand! (PS My quick internet search didn’t find any women engaging in such behavior – just sayin’.)
In the end it is the realization that no matter how many tales I spin, out, no matter how many scenarios I come up with, it’s not likely to go that way. Whatever happens at the end of my life, all I can do is to share my priorities and beliefs, and count on others to feel good about carrying out my wishes, even if they don’t match theirs; to count on others to let me go even when they are not prepared to say goodbye.
As things stand today, I’m guessing that falls to my husband. We have been together since we were just about a year older than our son, from the tender age of 18. We have weathered storms and celebrated milestones. We have loved; we have angered; we have built a wonderful life and a loving family; we have trusted and we have had faith in ourselves and each other through more than three decades of ups and downs. Just thinking about an end to that, under any circumstances, is heartbreaking, but there is no one I’d rather lean on – in sickness and in health.