Friday, August 23, 2013

Time To Have... The TALK

The TALK, depending on where you are in life could mean: getting married, time to have a baby, explaining sex to your curious kid, or the dreaded breaking up. But, if you're in the sandwich phase of life, kids and aging parents, then it's about Death.

Already cringing? Don't! Having a conversation about life and death is one of the responsibilities of adulthood and trust me it's way, way worse if you don't have it. And although every once and awhile one goes off the rails, most lead to a reaffirming gratitude that you've said what you wanted to say on the issue and relief that now you can get back to living a life worthy of a good death.

When I was writing my book My Last Wishes... folks, especially strangers, would always tell me of some horrible story of a family torn apart by the mess a death left in its wake. At this very moment I have more then a couple of friends living through nightmarish aftermaths of parents who never got around to getting their affairs in order. And let me be clear, a conversation even in front of all parties involved won't stop all the chaos if there is already bad blood; but having the talk about death gets the basics wishes on the table and are at least a starting point.

Speaking of tables, I was delighted to find out that there is a new trend hitting the dinner party circuit called Death Over Dinner. People in over 250 cities are throwing events on August 24th to kick off this grassroots movement. Wish I'd known sooner I would have totally hosted one- any friends interested? Anyway, I love the idea of it and will absolutely participate next year.

Sure death discussions probably aren't as much fun as discussing winning the lottery over chocolate fondue... but imagine how connected you'll be to others knowing how they feel about embarking on life's last great adventure. And as TEDTalk speaker Michael Hebb, who started the conversation says: looking at death has taught me how to live.

Look at life, talk about death... let's not avoid the topic and not say what needs to be said leaving everyone we love with a pile of sadness and frustration when we're no longer here. You're better than that. So whether over a nice dinner with friends, or a quiet Sunday afternoon with your parents and/or spouse have the talk. Above you will find my Chat-About-Checklist slidedeck taken from MLW... that serves as a summary and springboard to the key topics you'll want to touch on. And if you're really ready to dive in get my book and leave it all on the table :)

I wish you the most wonderful life and, when it's your time, a very good death.

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