Planning for Later

Every now and then, I want to point to the increasing need for people I love to have hard conversations about life, about living, and about dying. As an educator and pastor and father and relative, this video touches upon some critical issues worth talking about.

I don’t agree with literal exactness that we can or should choose the way we die, but I do agree with the intentionality behind living well, planning for later, and communicating with loved ones over these matters. I do believe in exercising as much right as we have. And we have the right to communicate our wishes around intensive medical treatment, aggressive and life-sustaining measures, and so forth.

This video feels close, real to me. Even though that rapid response team is small by the comparisons at NMH. I’ve seen 15-20 people in a room and crowding a hall easily, cracking ribs, pumping and sticking, and pounding and trying. And then a nurse, timing the scenario, calling for another person to step up and take over. I’ve seen that for 30-45 minutes.

Beyond that, listen to the story of the video and talk to people about an advance directive for healthcare. And if you can, let that be a part of other important conversations.

And that’s not including talking about money and life insurance and diet and family history. There are many conversations to have. But this one is important.

It’s not morbid. It’s responsible. It’s not short-sighted. It’s visionary and realistic. It’s helpful for you to think through things about your care. It’s relieving for those you love.

Form of Conversation

Tree of 40 Fruit

I love this picture and this description of Sam Van Aken’s Tree of 40 Fruit. According to CNN, the tree was created by grafting buds from various stone fruits onto the branches of a single tree in order for it to produce multiple types of fruit.

The Tree of 40 Fruit is an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken. Each unique Tree of 40 Fruit grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. Sculpted through the process of grafting, the Tree of 40 Fruit blossom in variegated tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of fruit. Primarily composed of native and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially produced or available.

Learn more here and here about this ongoing series and this form of conversation.