First published in April 2018 when my dad began having health issues at the age of 85, this updated article now includes additional end-of-life information (see epilogue below), based on what we have learned during this two-year process and dad’s eventual passing in January 2020.
I usually write about the many ways to heal your body. However, after my own recent experiences working through the trauma of an aging parent, I wanted to pass on my newfound knowledge in the hopes that it helps someone else. My brothers and I wish we had had a better map to follow as we negotiated the twists and turns of decisions that needed to be made as we tried to do what was best for our dad.
If you have an aging parent or if you are a parent with older children, I would strongly encourage you to do the uncomfortable — to have those end-of-life discussions with your loved ones before it is too late. Talk about options, preferences, wishes, etc. (See links below.)
I had some of those discussions with my parents over the years, but as my four brothers and I have come to find out these past couple of months, these discussions were not enough. The legal documents put in place were also not enough.
It has been a rough couple of months for my family, especially my dad. Below in the epilogue the story continues during the last two years of dad’s life. Continue reading