“Each one of us has the need to avoid this issue, yet each one of us has to face it sooner or later. If all of us could make a start by contemplating the possibility of our own death, we may effect many things, most important of all the welfare of our patients, our families and finally perhaps our nation.”
— On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.
Creating a better world by acknowledging our own mortality seems a lofty goal. That said, during the years I worked in hospice care I heard many stories of people who considered their terminal diagnosis a “gift” which brought into perspective those things that most mattered to them and forced them into open, honest conversations about what they wanted to achieve in the weeks and months before their death. My co-workers in hospice were passionate about helping patients along that journey.