Would you like to learn how to move from feeling closed off or slightly curious about planning for death to feeling more open and enlightened about the choices you have? Can you let go of control and let faith carry your concerns? You can honor your own beliefs and values when navigating how your future path will play out when facing your own mortality.

Once you are armed with knowledge by preparation, you can secure healthcare and services that fit your choices and lifestyle. Talking about death and dying equips you to handle the decisions and emotional turmoil that can ensue in a critical situation. Having an open dialogue and expressing thoughts and feelings about the end of life can alleviate the fear associated with it.

As a result of these conversations, you may find a greater appreciation for how precious each day and moment truly are, especially with the important people in your life. And how do I know this? I’ve lived it. I have been involved in caring for the dying for over 30 years. I’ve studied the topic in school and in seminars. I am not afraid to “go there” with people and have followed my path to help those in need. I have, in a sense, befriended death because I have lived professionally and personally with it.

I have witnessed the pain and suffering of people who haven’t had the chance to plan for the day they end up in the hospital. I’ve felt the difficulty families have in making decisions when they really do not know what to do or if they are making the right call by continuing or withdrawing life support measures. There is an entire generation of baby boomers (including me) who are getting a little too close for comfort to their own mortality. And you know what? I understand. I get it. After the loss of my Dad and one of my dear friends, I formally completed my living will and have been inspired to help others complete theirs.

Preparing your advanced directives is a process you can grow through. It allows you to examine your priorities, your hopes and wishes for yourself and your family, and a way to protect yourself and family in uncertain times. Learning about choices, making your decisions and talking about them with your friends and family enables you to breathe a little easier and inspire others to do the same. Imagine how that would be. You get to decide what “living” really means to you and what you would consider a “good” death.

An advance directive package includes a personalized review of your current and future health concerns, a designation of power of attorney for healthcare, a complete advance directive outlining your decisions regarding life support, comfort care and after death planning and up to four hours of personal consultation. The package can be for an individual, a couple or for a family. For a complimentary consultation, email Karen Kopan at [email protected] or call 847-901-3338.

“What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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