Few people I know can imagine, or remember an Easter without one. Wobbling, giggling, and squealing with delight at each find, children and adults, inside or out, search high and low for prizes and treats. Secreted away in not-so-hard to find spots, these brightly colored eggs and surprises are to help celebrate the joy and generosity of love and life for all. No one is excluded if you want to participate.
But what if no one could find them? What if the objects of our search were hidden too well? What if they were there, but just beyond reach? Maybe someone could help. What if they were completely out of sight? Someone would surely give us hints like, “You’re getting warmer or “Nope! You’re getting colder”. What if there were never anything hidden at all? But somehow you didn’t know that. You went on the hunt all the same. And you would be hopeful that you would find what you expected to be hidden, willing to take the time to look and help others who may be looking as well.
As I thought about the conversations that Caring Choices promotes today, I realized how easily we also may believe things will be found quickly and effortlessly once we need to search for them. And I thought of all the countless conversations I have witnessed while working Hospice once a search did not produce the desired answers. And there are so many questions that can, and do come up. Questions about providing 24 hour care, medication refills and administration, location of legal documents, planning services, about distribution or settlement of finances, about property, about distant family and friends. The list is almost endless.
My sister Linda died unexpectedly in her sleep. The impact of that day is permanently ingrained in my daily life now. I am fortunate to know she passed in her sleep. I am lucky to have been able to share in the grief with my family afterwards. I am grateful for the comfort of knowing she did not suffer. My mother and father both had the advantages of Hospice care for their final months of life. They were both able to choose the opportunity to find peace and had time to recognize that life was coming to an end and were able to make changes and plans accordingly. Their loss is felt by me in varying degrees some way every day. I honor the memory of their love. I have dedicated my life to trying to ease the suffering of those around me, even if it is only possible to just make them smile.
Caring Choices also celebrates life and love. We share in our own traditions and personal “hunts” with open dialog and respect. We consider the rights of everyone involved in the care and planning of the future. And for the people who do not want to be left with an empty basket of ideas, we have the discussion guide: http://elephant-inthe-room.org/. Cindy and I have experienced the loss of loved ones both suddenly, unexpectedly and over prolonged slow decline. It is from the empathy and understanding of the traumatic and chronic effects of change that make us want to share with others the importance of discussions before the search for answers suddenly begins.
©2015 Caring Choices