Thoughtfully Planning for end of life

On Sunday, I preached about Facing Death. I reminded and encouraged everyone to do End of Life Planning before you’re facing an acute health crisis.   Thinking through how you would like to be remembered after you die, what kind of end-of-life care you’d prefer, and how you would like your body disposed of after you die are tough and important questions.

We encourage you to fill out our USH Thoughtful Endings Planning Document (PDF).  You may prefer to fill out the form in Microsoft Word.  If so, here is the file to download to your computer.  Return it to us, your co-ministers, when you are done (or mostly done!) and we will keep it in our confidential files.  We also invite and encourage you to come together with Rev. Erica Richmond and myself next Sunday, November 6th, 12-1pm (bring something to share for our potluck lunch) to work on end-of-life planning together and get the support of being together to work through our thoughts, feelings, and questions.

As I said on Sunday, here are three things I know:

First, that filling out these forms brings up lots of deep and often hard questions – about our feelings and beliefs about death, about tricky family relationships, and making tough decisions about situations that we hope never to face –like whether to cut off life support

Second, I know that doing this work of planning for death with the support and accountability of a caring community makes it easier.

Finally, I know that it is never too early to fill out these forms. As Rev. Erica will tell you from her chaplaincy work in the hospital, it is much easier to think through end of life wishes when death is an abstract down-the-road possibility than when you are in the hospital dealing with a health crisis.

Do be in touch with Rev Heather or myself if you these question stir up things you’d like to talk about.

Be well,

Rev. Cathy