Thursday, August 23, 2007

Talk To Your Family

It's a good thing that I wrote my posts about the Presbyterian Global Fellowship meeting right after it was over, because most of this week we've been at the hospital with El Jefe's father. He's doing better now and will hopefully go home soon where he will be more comfortable in his familiar surroundings. But at 91, his systems are failing and so the family has had to make some difficult decisions.

This has been made so much easier because many years ago he had a very specific discussion with his daughter (now his primary caregiver) about his wishes in addition to making out advanced directives. She and El Jefe have no doubt in their minds about what he would want them to do for him.

So I'm getting up on my soapbox to urge my gentle readers not only to be sure you have advanced directives and a medical power of attorney, but to TALK to those who you know will be called on to make these decisions if necessary so that they don't have to wrestle with uncertainty along with the other emotions that will come up. I've seen cases where family members got into ugly conflicts with each other because this discussion never took place.

We are blessed by my father-in-law in so many ways, and this is just another example of that blessing.

12 comments:

cheesehead said...

Praying for you and your family, and thank you for this reminder.

We have had this and other difficult talks with my parents. It was hard at the time, but I now know a little more about what to do and to expect when the unexpected happens.

Songbird said...

Bless you all. My parents are gone, but we certainly knew their wishes ahead of time, as my children know mine.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

may God be with you...
we have faced this twice in the last year and your advice could not be more spot on.

net said...

Amen.

My favorite shut-in died a week ago of End-Stage Renal Disease and CHF. One of the things I was able to do for him and his family was to act as a fascilitator so they could honestly and openly about end-of-life issues - disposition of personal items, cemetery issues, obituary, family stuff. He died the way he lived - unfussily, comfortable and peacefully.

I will miss him a great deal. He not only taught us how to live a holy life, but how to die a holy death. And I am still awestruck that God allows me to be a part of such intimate moments in people's lives.

Praying for you and for your family, dear QG!

regressivepresby said...

Hard times, wise words. Thanks. May that grace which is rightly named here, quotidian, be even more so as you walk with your father-in-law these final miles.

grace & peace,
dm
John 16.33

Presbyterian Gal said...

My prayers and my heart go out to you and yours and El Jefe's family. It's not an easy time. God bless your father in law for preparing.

Even though my dad had prepared, there were still things that came up that made it very difficult.

Good advice for us all.

Rev Dave said...

Amen. Preach it, sister.

Just yesterday had my first "Would it be ok if I went off the medical treatments that are keeping me alive" conversation. Whew.

zorra said...

Amen. Everyone should get this in writing.
Please keep me posted.

reverendmother said...

Yes, and yes.

Jan said...

Good words. Thank you.

Gannet Girl said...

I am sorry that your FIL is in such a difficult place, and my prayers are with you all.

Sue said...

Bless all of you QG. You are so right about the importance of talking about final wishes with family and loved ones.