Conversations about death and dying are a crucial part of life. One doesn't need to be nearing EOL to have these conversations.
In fact, it's been shown that the earlier one engages in these topics, even if young and healthy, fear and anxiety is reduced, as there is time to process and think about EOL care wishes.
"Deficiencies in medical training, lack of confidence, limited time, and cultural barriers all contribute to the paucity of these important discussions".
When society looks at death as a "medical failure", we have a fundamental problem with how we (society) looks at death.
This illustrates just how needed these types of conversations are. Seeking those that are trained on how to talk about EOL will only help to benefit all of us.
When we see death as a natural, and normal, part of life, we then begin to experience it with more serenity and equanimity.
This isn't to say that there will be no sadness or heartache....honest, compassionate and effective EOL conversations won't remove these emotions. They will however provide opportunities for meaningful conversations among loved ones, so that the focus stays on the wishes and the comfort of the dying.
Ask your physician about how they approach EOL conversations, and if you feel you would like more guidance and education, then reach out to a death doula.