There were some comments on Tuesday's blog about "Beginnings and Endings" which have spurred another blog on the subject of being prepared for our ending. 

The epitome of control is "Advanced Life Directives."  YES--I have them.  It is all spelled out how I would prefer my last days to look.  Why I even have funeral (or lack thereof) directives.  I have gone to great lengths, knowing I am in the final chapters, to have a plan with the decisions already made--by me.  It is an effort to make those final days easier for my loved ones, or is it?  Is it really grabbing the last bit of control I think I might can have over this fleeting life?

I would dare say most of the world has not thought through things like Final Wishes.  It was not important to me until I began to see that slowly rising age number with each birthday.  Remember I told you, We Don't Get Out Of This Alive.  Here is a real laugh, why would I think I can possibly have any real control over how this is going to look? 

My mother wrote out funeral "suggestions" (my mother never gave suggestions--they were more like demands).  She told me about the list she had left when I was not prepared to talk about it.  I was also not particularly happy about how she had chosen to spend her final years.  I looked at her and laughed---"Momma, you will not be here and I will probably do what I want."  NOW---I was not being cruel--I was trying to get a fire lit and stoke her desire to not leave me in charge.  Hoping she would know the only way she could be in charge was to be here.   It did not work--we did what she wanted--and I was NOT prepared for the pain of losing her.  I thought I had a plan and worked out all the details but when asked if I was prepared for her loss in those final minutes, I sobbed, "NO!"

We make all these decisions for the benefit of our loved ones.  I am not certain my daughter could ever "pull the plug" on me, but my son in law has threatened to jerk that plug if I get a hang nail.  You HAVE to laugh about all this or it becomes FAR too serious.  We plan and plan--but we have no crystal ball--and I can tell you from experience it is not easy to stand toe to toe with a doctor and demand those final wishes be kept.  Doctors are trained to keep us alive---no matter what.  It takes a strong constitution to argue with someone who thinks they might can keep us alive, though it be with tubes coming from every orifice and us curled into a fetal position.  Quantity begins to take precedence over quality at that point.

Where in the world am I going?  Only God knows how it all plays out.  We can try to make those decisions to ease the burden of those we love, but we can never control every variable.  No matter if I think I have covered all the bases, there are always circumstances which might negate my efforts.  AND the bottom line is "Death is painful no matter what."  We may be able to avoid the physical suffering of dying, but those who are left to grieve our loss will suffer the pain of loss.  This is when faith becomes our rope to hold on to- our life line.  Without our faith--hope is lost.  Death then becomes final.  BUT we have hope--we know what comes next and we are clinging to the promise of the epilogue.  THAT we can plan for---that plan will go exactly as promised--without fail---no contingencies---HE will do what He promised.  

"Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

John 11:26


  1. This truly hit home for me in a personal way today, Lulu, after having lost my mother so recently. My brother and I wish she had left more directives, but the important one, the POA for health care, gave us firm guidelines as to how and when to say enough is enough. We were able to act on her wishes. Was it easy? NO WAY! But it was the only humane thing to do in her suffering.
    Blessings, my friend!

  2. I SO understand what you are saying, Martha. I have vivid memories of standing in the hospital hall arguing with the doctor. I don't think he has spoken to me since then--20 years. We do what we know our loved ones had the grace to put in writing knowing we are fulfilling their wishes. I consider that an act of love.
    Blessings, My Friend!

  3. Hopefully, your post will prompt me to (finally) pen my own directives ... and suggestions, too. Even tho' we knew my mother's time was at hand, I sure 'get' your 11th hour emotions. Yes, I hope when my son remembers me, it's with laughter.

    1. Experience is a great teacher, Myra!


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!