Planning for the end part of our life is something which can be daunting and overwhelming so it generally gets put aside for another time; the right time. But there never is a right time and it usually only gets considered when a crisis occurs in our life. This can then make the process even more daunting because we are flooded with emotions and stress.
I would like to share a story about a lady named Jill who was one of my clients.
Jill is a middle-aged professional woman who lives in Perth and was happily working and living her life, as we all do. She has an adult son who lives in Sydney and both of her parents are deceased. She has no siblings and very little extended family. She had completed a Will many years before but that was the extent of her End of Life planning.
Pretty normal situation.
Until…… One day she woke up and couldn’t get out of bed.
Yep, she couldn’t get out of bed. She had absolutely no energy and couldn’t move. She thought it was a flu or something viral. So, she rested and took care of herself. As this flu continued to linger she grew concerned and visited a doctor. After many tests and blood samples, she was diagnosed with having a Chronic Fatigue illness.
How was she going to cope? Who was going to care for her? Had her business to manage?
Thankfully she had a wonderful personal assistant who kept things ticking away while she attended to her illness and slowly recovered. It was nearly 12 months before she was back to her normal energy levels.
It was during this recovery period that I met Jill at a social event and shared with her about my work as an End of Life Doula and coach. Jill shared her story with me and disclosed how vulnerable she was feeling and her realisation that she had very little support. Her current health made her consider what could have happened had her situation been of a more serious nature.
We decided to work together to get her End of Life planning in order.
Firstly, we assessed Jill’s Will and determined that it needed updating. I discovered that she hadn’t considered or given the faintest thought to her Advanced Health Care plan or her Funeral wishes and therefore had not had any discussions with her son about anything.
This is a very common scenario.
We spent 3 sessions together over a couple of months, slowly working through each part of her planning. We updated her Will and filled out her Enduring Power of Attorney, Enduring Power of Guardianship and Advanced Health Care planning forms. We started to formulate a Funeral Directive expressing her funeral wishes.
Most importantly, Jill then had some discussions with her son explaining her decisions. She gave him direction and guidance, as she had nominated him to be in these roles. She now knew that if anything were to happen to her he could make the right decisions and speak her wishes if she was unable to do so for herself.
Jill also spoke to her personal assistant and the Executor of her Will so that when the time came they could work together to settle her estate. Her personal assistant knew where all her documents were and could easily seek the information they would need.
I noticed that Jill’s outlook and demeanour had changed. She expressed that she didn’t feel so vulnerable and out of control. She was relieved and felt secure now that her planning was in order and she intended on revisiting it and updating it every few years as her circumstances changed. She had a new lease of life because she could focus on the future knowing that everything was in order and she didn’t have to worry should she find herself in a vulnerable position again. Her son was also relieved and appreciated their conversations because he now had clarity and direction for when the time came that he needed to make important decisions for Jill.
This is why I love doing what I do because I know the benefit that the planning brings. How it can transform people’s lives and take a weight off their shoulders, allowing them to focus on living because they have the security of knowing everything is in order. It also makes it easier for others as clear directives ease the burden of difficult decisions during highly stressful and emotional times.
Yes, you need to make the time to do this planning.
Yes, you must think about topics which can bring up certain emotions and challenge your values.
Yes, some of the forms can be daunting and full of foreign concepts.
Therefore, you seek support and advice so that you are not alone in the process and can gain clear direction and know what steps to take next. To gain the confidence you need in your decision-making process and know that they are the right ones for you and your loved ones.
As an End of Life Doula and Coach, I provide both educational seminars and one to one consults. I step you through the process and I break it down into easily understood concepts. I can find you the right resources and point you in the right direction if you require other professional help.
So let’s start your planning today, because;
“Peace of mind is the gift you give when you put your wishes in writing”
– Caring Conversations
For more information, you can Contact Me
For information on my Educational Seminars