“End of life” is something constantly in mind but not spoken of too much on Vicki’s journey. Most of us don’t like to talk about death, even when it’s clearly going to happen. Since finding out about Vicki’s Frontotemporal Dementia diagnosis almost 4 years ago, I’ve “willed her to live” as long as she can, and have been privileged and blessed to spend quality time with her these past few years. We genuinely treasure one another’s friendship. Neither of us know when life will end – and more than ever before I’m learning to live in and appreciate the present moment.
Vicki’s diagnosis came suddenly, unexpectedly – even though symptoms had appeared much earlier. As is so common with early onset dementia like FTD, the disease was at an advanced stage when she was diagnosed. Since then, through Vicki and then other persons I’ve met on this journey, I’ve seen the impact that planning – and lack of it – can have on quality of a life that seems to be approaching the end.
It’s never too early to “plan” for the unexpected. And it’s never too early to plan for end of life. Video of a short talk by Judy MacDonald Johnston about end of life actions was just posted, and I want to share it with you, hoping it will be helpful:
Here’s a link to the worksheets Judy mentioned in her talk.
In a few days I’m planning to escort Vicki to a celebration with her family. I’m looking forward to it, and whatever else we’ll be doing in the time remaining.