Avoiding the Subject Doesn’t Make it Disappear

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.51.58 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.53.59 PMWhen was the last time you played hide and seek?

Have you ever played with a small child? If so, you may recall that some little ones believe you can’t see them if they can’t see you… We’ve all grown out of that belief, but have we really grown out of the behavior?

Many of us still “hide our eyes” from thoughts or discussions that are hard to bear emotionally… like losing loved ones, our own mortality and end-of-life decisions that are not exactly dinner table conversation.

Just like the hide-and-seeker who finds a hiding child, these realities are going to be right in front of us sooner or later – whether we look at them or not. Yes, it’s hard to think through some of them, and it can be even harder to talk about them with people we love.

That’s no reason to hide from them – especially since we can insulate ourselves and those we love from the added pain of having to make tough decisions right as we’re dealing with a loss or tragedy… by addressing at least a few major things in advance.

I noticed a story on Twitter today on what seems like a great solution for starting or having these conversations: The Chinese-American Coalition for Compassionate Care (CACCC) has developed Heart to Heart playing cards that cover spiritual, financial social and physical concerns.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 5.46.39 PMPlayers choose what they feel are the most important end-of-life topics and issues out of the deck while engaging with others. The charity sells the cards online and provides summary sheets for logging answers among players.

No matter how you choose to deal with end-of-life decisions, the choice is yours. This is just one idea that might make some of those conversations a little easier.

In the meantime, celebrate the people you love and the time you have with them every day. Both are precious.