“Promise Me …”

(A powerful blog for those with parents who have not yet planned ahead)

An elderly mother says to her son, “Promise me you will never put me in a nursing home.  It’s so depressing.  Promise me you will never do that.”

The middle-aged son says:

Promise me that you will make plans now, so I won’t have to later under duress.

Promise me that we will discuss this now, instead of at a time when it is either too late, or I will have to make excruciating decisions in a crisis mode.

Promise me that you will give this much thought.

Promise me that you will love us both enough to do this now, so I know YOUR wishes and they can be fulfilled as closely as possible.  Research assisted living facilities.  Research home health organizations.  Have a plan in place we can both use.

Share your plan WITH me.

Promise me all of these things, so I can live the remainder of my life, knowing I honored you the best way that I could, knowing we had full and open communications, knowing we talked about the “what if’s.”

And lastly, promise me that you will never ask me again to promise you what you just asked of me.  For without any direction or guidance from you, I will be guessing, and guessing is not what you want me to do with your life hanging in the balance.  I don’t want to guess either, wondering if I’ve made the right decisions.

Guessing will only lay guilt at my feet and weigh heavily upon my shoulders.

If/when a crisis occurs, I will not be thinking straight.  I will not be myself.  I will not fully understand the ramifications of my decisions.  I will be stunned and emotional.  I will look and act like a zombie going through the motions.  I will be confused and overwhelmed by medical staff saying things I don’t understand, and family members questioning my every move.  Promise me you won’t do that to me.

By thinking about this now and deciding on what YOU want, we can put a plan together so there is no guessing.  Saying “I love you” isn’t enough sometimes.  Doing all of these things and preparing for that day ahead of time is a gift of pure love.

I will cherish and honor you for this gift, both now, as well as in my future.  Thank you for protecting my soul, mom, dad.  Thank you for loving me that much!

©2014 The Estate Lady®

Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com  She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.

No part of The Estate Lady® blogs, whole or partial, may be used without Julie Hall’s written consent.  Email her at Julie@TheEstateLady.com

 

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Published in: on April 22, 2014 at 9:17 am  Comments (10)  
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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow Julie- that was very powerful!!! I see this played out in real life all the time as family members come to the Alzheimer’s facility where I work- and none of those issues have been taken care of. It is so hard on the responsible person. Thanks! Mary Meoli Johns

    • I thank you and everyone for the kind words. Please feel free to pass this along to those who really need to hear it. I see and feel the pain from my clients every day and it is senseless because it can be avoided, or at the very least, minimized greatly. Hopefully, this blog will jog them into action. Best, Julie

  2. Right on the money and exactly so. Yet seemingly impossible in the situation that my wife and I recently endured and now deal with afterwards. Do whatever you can to have proper things in order.

    • I thank you and everyone for the kind words. Please feel free to pass this along to those who really need to hear it. I see and feel the pain from my clients every day and it is senseless because it can be avoided, or at the very least, minimized greatly. Hopefully, this blog will jog them into action. Best, Julie

  3. For decades, yes decades, my parents were so proud that they pre-arranged cemetery/funeral plans. Even a bronze plaque “marks the spot”. But because their parents died young, apparently they assumed they would also. Dad is 84 and attempting to care for my mom who is 82, has Alzheimer’s. Dad did not plan for retirement and although always frugal, he can make unwise choices sometimes. When we kids attempt to help, he is outraged. So, not only discuss early, you might want those plans chiseled in granite!

    • I thank you and everyone for the kind words. Please feel free to pass this along to those who really need to hear it. I see and feel the pain from my clients every day and it is senseless because it can be avoided, or at the very least, minimized greatly. Hopefully, this blog will jog them into action. Best, Julie

  4. AMEN SISTER! Having lived this difficult personal situation and been the one who had to make the decision multiple times for family members who refused to engage in this discussion, I applaud your stating it so clearly and eloquently. In my situation, I had one family member (of four) who did willingly participate in this conversation and CHOSE for herself to go to a nursing facility when it became necessary, and then again CHOSE for herself to stay permanently.

    In the face of much family opposition, I respected and honored her wishes when she could no longer communicate them effectively, and to this day am so grateful for the clear-minded generosity and love for me she exhibited by making her wishes known in advance. I know she received better care than I could have provided given her physical limitations, and I also know she received excellent, loving care from the wonderful staff at the residence she selected.

    I was in an very emotional and exhausted state when it became necessary to comply with her decisions, and it would have been an excruciating process without her prior guidance. As it was, it was still something I struggled with tremendously, but once we made the transition, she recovered, improved physically, and enjoyed the friends and opportunity for social interaction that she had been lacking at home.

    I was, and still am, so grateful for her love and guidance. I have followed her example by making my wishes clearly known by incorporating them into my MPOA/Living Will. Such an easy thing to accomplish especially when thinking with love about the wonderful family members who will someday be required to assist with making these decisions on my behalf.

    Food for thought — maybe by making our own wishes known (as responsible adults of ANY age), it can facilitate a discussion with our more reluctant loved ones. Be the person to open the door.

    • I thank you and everyone for the kind words. Please feel free to pass this along to those who really need to hear it. I see and feel the pain from my clients every day and it is senseless because it can be avoided, or at the very least, minimized greatly. Hopefully, this blog will jog them into action. Best, Julie

  5. Julie, That is so powerful. How I wish that could have been out situation. My sister is still dealing with the hurt and guilt she feels from being is a crisis situation with our Mother when our Father became suddenly ill at the same time and was dying. There was no choice for my sister but to have Mom stay at a nursing home until we could figure out what to do and how. We had no instructions, no plan from them. Then the unthinkable happened and Dad passed in the early morning hours and Mom passed 14 hours later in the nursing home. We all did the best we could and everything you wrote describes how it was, how we felt, etc. It was a real train wreck with both parents gone. As executrix I am left with the rest of the story and clean up. It is still on going. I wish this could be front page news. (Your blog here) so that no one has to go through this painful experience. Thank you so much for your blogs and insight. Keep up the amazing work! Linda.

    • I thank you and everyone for the kind words. Please feel free to pass this along to those who really need to hear it. I see and feel the pain from my clients every day and it is senseless because it can be avoided, or at the very least, minimized greatly. Hopefully, this blog will jog them into action. Best, Julie


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