As human beings our nature is to nurture. We nurture our loved ones. Our loved ones include our parents, spouses and life partners, children, grandchildren and dear friends. We nurture in many forms. Love, affection, sustenance and guidance are typical expressions of how we care for those we love. We also look to the future and try to provide for those we love the most. We plan meals, vacations, and all sorts of get-togethers. However, we tend not to plan for a time when we will not be with our loved ones or able to make our own decisions. We avoid discussions about end of life, memorial services and the consequences of our death. Preparing a Final Roadmap for the end of your life is an additional, and very loving, way to nurture those you care about.
It is often awkward to begin a conversation about our own wishes for the details of, for example, our own memorial service. Spouses and children have different interpretations of our wishes – and perhaps their own wishes as well. Help your family avoid conflict in making the preparations for your funeral, cremation or burial by concretely expressing what you want. Document your choices for flowers and the disposition of your remains. Any and all details in regard to your thoughts and wishes will be greatly appreciated as your loved ones plan their goodbye.
As a young healthy person, end of life decisions seem premature and unnecessary. More mature adults often avoid end of life planning as it is then closer to the inevitable. At any age, documenting your choices in regard to end of life is a priceless gift for those who care about you and will be caring for you. Selecting one person to be in charge of carrying out your wishes will prevent arguments and disharmony amongst those closest to you. It will also avoid strangers making decisions on your behalf. Preparing a medical power of attorney/advanced directive is a kindness which documents your wishes for medical care if you cannot make your own decisions. This can happen at any age due to an accident or sudden illness. If you do not want to be put on a ventilator and kept alive indefinitely, make that choice known and help your family let your life end more naturally. If you want a feeding tube, let them know. Review the Final Roadmap section on end of life choices and help those who love you let you end your life as you have chosen. Change it as often as you wish.
Why else should we plan for a time we are no longer with our loved ones? Costs of a last illness can be remarkably expensive. Some people want “everything done” regardless of the cost and when doctors see no hope. Others wish to avoid spending money on things they do not believe will enhance their length or quality of life. In addition, funerals, memorials and disposition of remains have widely varying costs. If your loved ones understand your finances and your intentions for these expenditures they will be better able to plan. Documenting in your Final Roadmap folder the name of your bank and the account numbers will allow for prudent decisions to be made in regard to expenses that can be incurred. Most people are reluctant to be financial burdens to loved ones while they are alive. Organizing and disclosing the details of your finances or financial wishes will prevent avoidable hardship after you are gone. Help avoid frustration and a treasure hunt to determine where your assets are held and who to contact about them. Including your legal and financial documents in your Final Roadmap folder will make transferring your assets a simpler more efficient process.
Final Roadmap is a tool which allows you to document all of your last wishes, communicate all thoughts in a variety of ways and provide financial and legal information to your loved ones. Help them avoid issues beyond their loss and sadness. We help our loved ones in every way we can. Choose to provide the additional help Final Roadmap will give and further demonstrate your thoughtfulness and care, not only for yourself but for your loved ones too. The GIFT of Final Roadmap is generous and kind. Help those you care about help themselves.