On Dying

So Happy Fourth of July to everyone. We will be going to a pot luck picnic at our Masonic Lodge in San Pedro. The lodge has a spectacular view of the LA Harbor. It is an excellent spot to watch the fireworks. It is familiar territory. We try to avoid big crowds with Mary. She doesn’t do well with them. I will post pictures tomorrow.

So this morning I read an article by Eleanor Goodman on dying. Eleanor Goodman you might remember (or perhaps not) as a columnist for the Boston Globe. The article’s title is “How to Talk about Dying”.

The article really hit home for us. For example, she says,





Yes, my mother and I talked about everything — but we didn’t talk about how she wanted to live toward the end. The closest we ever came to discussing her wishes was when she would see someone in dire straits and say, “If I’m ever like that, pull the plug.” But most of the time there is no plug to pull.


Right, no plug indeed. She also talks about something the experts call executive function, where one loses the ability to do ordinary things like deciding what to eat or how to turn on the TV or make a phone call.

Mary is certainly heading in that direction. She gets stuck in a rut on what to have for breakfast. For a while, all she would eat would be Cheerios with blueberries. Then all of a sudden, she starts eating Raisin Bran. She probably switched because we were out of Cheerios, so now Raisin Bran is the new normal.

Slowly but surely, we are taking over those executive functions on what she eats or what medicines she takes to insure that her last days are the best that they can be.

So back to the column. Ms Goodman is working on a non-profit called “The Conversation Project”. Here’s the pointer to her piece in the NY TImes.

And here’s the link to “The Conversation Project“. Go take a look. You won’t regret it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Aging, Dying, Mary

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