Critical Thinking Nursing Journal

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, the one that allows us and the people we care about to talk about the last stage of life, while being firmly grounded in today.

It’s not easy to talk about how you want the end of your life to be, even more difficult, to ask others.

This online tool provides tools such as a writing exercise that begins with a “What Matters” statement.

Participants may talk about or write a statement that begins with “What matters to me…,” later extending it to “What matters to me at the end of my life….” Short survey-type questions are offered to encourage people to choose care settings and quality-of-life issues.

Goodman’s goal is to help us begin to change how we think about this topic and to transform our culture so we shift from not talking about dying to talking about it.

Using this framework, the conversation becomes about how we want to want for ourselves.Goodman realized that too many people die in ways they wouldn’t choose, and too many of their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain.These emotions impact grief and often affect survivors in ways we have not yet begun to understand.In the intensive care unit, people are often robbed of the things they want to say and do.They may not be able to be with the people they love most.The end comes with no chance for you to have said goodbye or “it’s OK” or “I’m sorry” or “I love you.” Often at the end of life for our loved ones, we are unsure of what to do, where to be. My friend Joe was close to his last days, battling renal cancer. This is a step commonly lost between the “getting your affairs in order” and “funeral arrangements.” Many people draw up a will with legal guidance, attempting to provide for property and distribution of goods.Often, people plan the details of their postdeath arrangements with great precision.Each person is their own best expert on what he/she wants and needs.Medical and legal people may become a part of the discussion later, but it should begin with you.

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