Conversations Before The Crisis
The conversation continues
It's only in the movies that everything is neatly wrapped up in a package. The real world is much more complicated. Family conversations stop and start over time. Conditions change, new information makes a difference, and relationships shift.
After you complete your advance directive and have discussed it with your family, be sure to talk to your physician. Sharing this information with your doctor increases the likelihood that your wishes will be honored, and it can ease the burden on your family members because they're not left guessing about how much treatment you might want.
The true objective of family conversation is more than a simple package of papers with advance directives and estate details. Those things matter, because they will guide final actions. But what matters most is to talk with the people you love about decisions near the end of life, to come to terms with inevitable loss, and thus to honor the cycle of life.