I consider conversation between people to be one of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of life. Recordings of the written word comes in second in my humble opinion due to the fact that what is written is subject to misinterpretation depending on many factors. Not to negate the misunderstanding caused by language barrier and incoherent speech patterns, but generally when you hear something it is pretty much just “what you heard.”
At no other time in history have I been more aware that there is such a massive amount of uncomfortable conversations occurring. Sadly, much of the most offensive exchange we are currently exposed to is not verbal but texted, posted, printed, or pre-recorded. The convenience of these methods of information exchange is undeniable. The quality is questionable.
The volume of discourse over the current political landscape is beyond comprehension, not only in America, but across the globe. The shifting sands of opinion and time will eventually settle, and new dialogue will resurface about whatever balance human existence regains.
Having witnessed these tumultuous events, and recognizing the multitude of newly vehement revelers of political opinion which had never, before now, given the topic much consideration, I began to wonder: Why? Why now? Have there not been millions of debatable issues over the past 40 years that failed to become more than a C-Spanned, red-eyed, remote flip of boredom? Certainly we have all been affected by this shuffling of interests in world affairs both public and private. But in the past many of those personally involved were understandably limited to the professions directly designed to be appropriating the need. This political slugfest seems to have engaged everyone, from every perspective and every varied opinion into an extremely uncomfortable national discourse.
Yet when attempts are made to encourage everyone to become involved with their own end of life issues, the resistance is equally universal. Very few people seem to want to begin discussions with a loved one; that is until an acute trauma or terminal diagnosis is ripping the lives of their family, friends, and acquaintances apart. As is common within proper social etiquette, there is a general outpouring of prayer, shared grief, and unified offers of support.
What will it take to make this “uncomfortable” conversation as popular as the raging debates around the world today over truth, rights, and political control? It is every bit an undeniable fact that we have a new President as it is that everyone will eventually die. Life goes on, and ends; the disproportionate lack of acknowledgement of death will not change the fact that it will occur for all of us.
What can help make conversations about death more comfortable? I believe it is honest, compassionate examination and understanding of the emotional, physical, and psychological needs of each other coupled with genuine, meaningful communication before a medical crisis occurs. Enough can never be said to help each other with what is often the most frightening, “uncomfortable” event we all will ever (and must) face.
The outcome of these “uncomfortable” discussions may even be peace of mind, increased knowledge of legal and financial responsibility, understanding of desired preferences for services and care due to changed independence, emotional release, insight into unanswered concerns, repaired personal conflicts and family dynamics, expression of personal choice, acceptance of everyone’s opinion, etc. You will never know if you don’t ask.
Just start talking!
© Caring Choices 2017