It is often difficult when we are ill, stressed, overwhelmed, or any combination of these, to remember that is is perfectly fine to say ‘no’ when we need to. During End Of Life – our own, or that of someone close to us – it is particularly sensible to hold strong boundaries, and to refuse information or inappropriate actions from those around us. Even when they mean well.
A useful set of parameters is provided here – and although the article is written by an oncologist and is focused on those living with a cancer diagnosis, the parameters laid out translate well to other illnesses and diagnoses.
An End Of Life Doula can be a great asset in helping you to navigate your treatment choices and options, construct the compassionate community that will serve you best in your own personal circumstances, and to help you hold the boundaries in place when that help is needed or requested by you.
Changes to legal status – like marriage, which may have some interesting and complex nuances when governments change legislation as we’ve recently seen here in Australia – are a signal for us as individuals (and as couples, congratulations!) to review our advance planning paperwork.
Here in NSW you need a will, a power of attorney, and enduring guardianship – this troika of documents will help your wishes be recognised as valid and binding, and to smooth the path of your End Of Life in both expected, and unexpected circumstances.
If in doubt, as this report points out there may currently be for same-sex couples who married outside Australia, it is a good idea to update and double-check your paperwork, and take the opportunity to review your End Of Life documentation.
I advocate for reviewing your choices and options annually, it is always sensible to ensure your planned choices, legacy, and wishes reflect your current life and self. I specialise in advance planning, and am available to help you explore your options and choices. Remember to include your pets in your planning!
There is a well-written newspaper article here from the Bendigo Advertiser which investigates and clarifies what happens when you die. It is an interesting read.
If you have questions about advance planning for your own End Of Life I am happy to help you understand and navigate your options.