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A Well-Timed Conversation

Posted on December 11, 2012 by The Dooley Family

The last time my grandmother visited, it was to attend a baby shower of the newest great grandchild.   As always she arrived amidst a flurry of activity, arms loaded with biscotti's and gifts as she made the rounds of hugging and kissing everyone.  Later that weekend we had a family discussion on end-of-life care; this wasn't exactly planned, just something that stemmed following an afternoon of shopping.  During this discussion my grandmother made it very clear as to what she did and did not want to occur if anything was to happen.  

Three days later my grandmother attended a church dinner, became unresponsive and was immediately rushed to the hospital.  Doctors determined she had suffered a massive stroke and presented the family with an array of treatment options, including the insertion of a feeding tube.   Despite my grandmother's very clear desire to "let God take her" when her time was up, making the decision to forego aggressive care options was exhausting.  I can only imagine how agonizing this decision would have been had a well-timed conversation not taken place.  Respecting her wishes, the family opted for no heroics, and made arrangements for home hospice.  Less than one week after visiting with my vibrant grandmother, she died.  We were grateful to have clarity on her end of life wishes.  

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