My mediation partner, Jane Ginsberg, PsyD, and I, led two workshops on Cape Cod this week regarding elder decisions. Both workshops were well attended, both by caregivers and by elders themselves.
I was amazed to see how quickly people opened up to us and to each other. Some of their concerns were logistical – for instance, about where they might live, or whether they should still drive. There were also concerns about being lonely, and about the ongoing grief of having your peers die before you. There were concerns about how to talk with your children about what you want to happen when you die, or about end of life decisions. There were concerns about how to ask your children for help, knowing that they have their own busy lives. And there were concerns from adult children about how to talk to their siblings, and about how to talk to their parents about their worries.
The workshops reminded me how important and deeply personal these conversations are. They are spiritual, practical, emotional, rational, scary, and delightful. All at the same time.