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5 Life Lessons From End-of-Life Experts

August 1, 2018

 

You’ve heard it countless times: Life is short, so appreciate each moment.

 

People with life-limiting diagnoses know this intimately: When they come to terms with their mortality, their priorities often change, and they may try to squeeze as much substance into their lives as they can. This often involves trying to resolve long-standing problems with loved ones and strengthening important relationships.

Very few healthy people live this way, though. We get caught up in the details of our busy lives and often forget to put things in perspective, believing that we’ll have time to sort everything out. But end-of-life experts believe that everyone should adopt some of the attitudes and values that dying patients embrace.

 

“It’s easy to put something off into the future,” says John Mastrojohn III, chief operating officer of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “For some, that future may not be as long as we’d like. Having meaningful conversations, or doing other things that bring joy, can have a profound impact on how we feel about ourselves and others.”

 

You may be inclined to delay these types of conversations if you don’t sense an imminent need. But they can positively impact your relationships and help you realize what’s most important.

 

“Those of us who work with people who are seriously ill have found that [saying] ‘Please forgive me,’ ‘I forgive you,’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘I love you’ — that almost always has value to people, whether relationships are fractured or strong,” says Dr. Ira Byock, a palliative care physician in Torrance, Calif., and author of The Four Things That Matter Most.

 

End-of-life experts believe that the following advice — which they often share with patients who are in the final weeks or months of their lives — is surprisingly well-suited for active, healthy people, too:

 

Read the full article here: https://www.nextavenue.org/5-life-lessons-end-life-experts/

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