Aging Matters

On Wednesday evenings at First Baptist Church I have been facilitating a class based on the NPT series, Aging Matters.  One of the comments on one of the tapes was, “Most of us believe that we will drive ourselves to our own funerals.”  We laugh because it is so true. 

Thinking about the end of my life is, for me, like anticipating childbirth.  Now, hang with me here.  When a woman is pregnant, she knows that she goes from expecting a baby to having one, but in between it is unknown, scary, different for everybody, momentous, and may well involve struggle and pain.  Doesn’t that sound a bit like what we fear about the end of life? 

Just like the “come to Jesus meeting” my first obstetrician had with me where he asked me what I did and didn’t want during my labor with my oldest child, we would do well to converse with our loved ones about what we do and do not want at the end of our lives.  This conversation is much better held when the end of our lives is in some far distant future.  That removes some of the emotion from the discussion that is often present when a life-limiting diagnosis has already been given.

Recently I was privileged to attend a conference on Faith and Spirituality sponsored by Alive Hospice. One of the breakout session leaders, Carleen Rodgers with Medalogix, gave some great resources on how to have this difficult but important conversation.  I’m listing a few of them here for you:

Caringinfo.org

Deathoverdinner.org

Gyst.com

Joincake.com

Theconversationproject.org

If having “the talk” is something that you’ve been planning to do, perhaps this is the nudge and the resource that you need to check that off of your “worry list.”  I hope so!

Pam Pilote

Minister of Congregational Care and Senior Adults

First Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, TN