It’s because I love you…
"We can’t plan for everything. But we can talk about what is most important — in our life, and in our health care — with those who matter most." The Conversation Project
The Conversation Project (https://theconversationproject.org/) helps people talk about their wishes for care through the end of life (advanced directives), so those wishes can be understood and respected. The offer guides, conversations starter tips and more to help you start a conversation (and keep talking) so you can have a say in your health care — today and tomorrow.
This week the Conversation Project shared a poem by Susan Ruddy-Maysonet (@susanruddymaysonet), a nurse from Mayo Clinic, that I would like to re-post here with permission. "It's because I love you" is a wonderful reminder of why these conversations are important and that love and caring are the reason why we should talk.
IT'S BECAUSE I LOVE YOU…
By Susan E. Ruddy-Maysonet RN MSN,
It’s because I love you that I want u to know just how much in the event I am no longer able to speak the words ” I love you”.
It’s because I love you and you have been everything to me, and know me, at times better than I know myself.
It’s because I love you that I can’t think of anyone else to give this most precious, but challenging gift to.
It’s because I love you that I am asking you to hold me tight when possible, as your hugs will remind me how much I am loved.
It’s because I love you that you will sense my heart and arms wrapped around you in return.
It’s because I love you that you will feel God’s strength and love, as I would have asked HIM to help you make difficult choices on my behalf and reassure you that no one can do this task better.
It’s because I love you and am most confident that you will be able to help all those near and dear to me understand the choices I have made, including you to be my voice, in the event I didn’t have the chance to tell them myself.
It’s because I love you that we need to take time out of our busy lives today to talk about this tomorrow we hope will never come.
It’s because I love you that I want you to be prepared in case it does.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Just Want to Talk Support Group.
Hello Ms. Merry,
Thank you. Yes, I am hopeful that the take away is, while documents are important, conversations with loved ones about choices you have made or may not be ready to make is even more important. There are many valid documents that list different treatment options for you to consider receiving or refuse. It would be difficult to try and cover every scenario that could possibly happen, the circumstances surrounding them or potential outcomes. That is why it is good to share your choices and what makes for an acceptable or unacceptable outcome with your loved ones and care team. “Your person” or “your voice” needs to be that someone who knows you best and can keep all who love you on the same page; like you said, “oh, mom wouldn’t like that at all”.
@susanruddymaysonet, welcome to the discussion as the author of the poem. I'd love to know what inspired you to write the poem? Was it motivated by a personal experience or to help families to initiate discussions about best endings?
You have the right goal in mind- sharing your wishes with loved ones who can help make sure those wishes are known in the event you are unable to express them yourself. When people have shared that they are having trouble bringing up the topic or attempted to, but loved ones weren’t ready, I encouraged them to find an opportunity to elaborate on a situation seen in a television program, movie, or current event. You would think that it would or should be somber but it doesn't have to; it just needs to be a way for that individual to relate to & understand the importance of starting the talk now. It may be taking the focus off you and asking an adult child if they ever thought about the care they would want or not want in the event they couldn't express it for themselves.
I used an episode from the old “ER” program to help my husband & adult daughter understand better. It is a serious portrayal of a woman who suffers a stroke-from the patient’s perspective. Youtube has a clip that contains two brief back-to-back clips (watch them both). It is dated & a little fuzzy but the message is crystal clear. It is called- “ER” Alone in a Crowd (Cynthia Nixon).
If you're seeking a lighter, more comedic way to initiate the conversation, I would be happy to share the name of a clip from the sitcom Seinfeld.
I hope some of this helps; don’t give up- keep plugging away!
@susanruddymaysonet Thanks for your advice I will look into this program
Linda- SOns are very funny about talking about the death of their mom. One time my son told me that he would lock me in a closet when I said that I didn't want to be put in a nursing home. lol Or, don't worry you aren't going anywhere for a very long time!
If your son still can't handle what you need to tell him then write it all down and make sure that his wife has a copy, along with all of your legal papers. Would that work?
Susan-Please share a more comedic way to initiate the conversation! Thank you for helping to open this much-needed discussion!
Neither of my parents wanted to talk to any of us about death and dying. My mother once said that once you're dead, your dead! Well, how is that for a sympathetic ear to unanswered questions? Thank you for the link and your wonderful way with words!
Yes ma'am. Glad you asked; is a good icebreaker. It is found on youtube & will need to search "The Comeback"-Kramer's Coma
Very very funny! hahaha.
@merpreb Great idea she knows where the key is to my safe but not other documents .I,lol share it with her too