The Young Survival Coalition along with Kate Adelstein of the University of Virginia are hosting a three part “End of Life” series. The first part of the series is being live streamed on Thursday, December 10th at 8 pm EST/7 pm CST/ 5 pm PST and will be one hour long. If you want to attend the event, you must register here. Though Young Survival Coalition serves the young breast cancer population, you need not be a breast cancer survivor to attend the series!
While talking about and thinking about end of life can seem like a “morbid” or “negative” experience, let’s take a second to consider what happens when we do not have these conversations. If someone you are helping care for dies…
What type of structure will the funeral or memorial service have?
How would they like their body to be dealt with?
How would they like their belongings and/or wealth to be distributed?
Who should be included in the funeral or memorial service?
These logistical questions are hard to make when dealing with grief and we want to make these decisions while being well informed on the desires of the person being celebrated. Logistical conversations are not the only ones to have surrounding end of life. Where can you go to “find” that person once they have died? What might they want to have you remember once they’ve died? My mother told me specifically that I could talk to her anywhere I might be. This thought has remained a calming one for me throughout the years since her passing. That specific conversation with her happened years before her cancer diagnosis. Not being close to the end of your life does not mean that you can ignore your end of life discussions.
Part One of the series, “The Research & Benefit of Introducing Palliative Care Early in the Cancer Journey,” is supported by “key findings from an Institute of Medicine report that those introduced to palliative care may live longer than those who do not receive this kind of support.”
Will you attend the series? Have you discussed end of life preferences with your family or in a formal document?