Island Senior: Planning For The End of Life

Buddha at Sakya Kachod Choling Buddhist Center – Peggy Sue McRae photo

I was staying at Sakya Kachod Choling, the Buddhist Center on Mt Dallas, when I learned that my friend Ben’s cancer had spread into parts of his body that changed his situation from fighting for his life to acceptance of his death. A Buddhist Center is a good place to be at a time like that. It is a quiet beautiful place to contemplate impermanence.

Ben liked to brag toward the end of his life that he had seven women cooking for him. I was happy to be one of them. What he gave me was a valuable lesson. I was witness to a dignified and graceful death. I think of Ben when I contemplate how I would like to die.

It was a few years later that I again took some quiet time at the Buddhist Center to fill out my own Five Wishes, a legal document that 1) Names the person I want to make healthcare decisions for me when I can’t make them for myself. 2) The kind of medical treatment I want or don’t want. 3) How comfortable I want to be. 4) How I want people to treat me. 5) What I want my loved ones to know.

We postpone these tasks because they describe a day we hope will never come and yet it is reassuring to have my wishes in writing rather than one day only wishing I had done it. If you are ready to do yourself and your loved ones a favor by putting your wishes down on paper, the Mullis Center is sponsoring an Advanced Care Planning Workshop on Monday, February 25 from 1:00 pm to 2:30.

Find out the difference between a POLST (Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment), a directive, and a will. Learn what your legal rights are and the significance of a power of attorney. Explore end of life choices and learn about available services. The workshop is free. Call 360.378.2677 to register.

Posted on February 16, 2019 at 6:05 am by

Categories: Around Here, Community
One comment:

One comment...

  1. I also have done the 5 wishes.I even got a coffee can for the urn so this wouldn’t be another expense when picking up my remains from the funeral home. We should not fear death, but like your friend we should fight for our life and stay healthy n strong and do preventative things to enjoy our later years

    Comment by Patty Protzeller on February 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm

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  1. End of Life Directives Information Session at Mullis Center Feb 25, and what ELSE you should do to protect your loved ones | Roche Harbor Neighborhood Association

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