60 Seconds: End-of-Life Wishes Are Like a GPS

Episode Summary

Decide on your GPS and program it.

Episode Notes

Coming to you from Whidbey Island, Washington this is 60 Seconds, your daily dose of hope, imagination, wisdom, stories, practical tips, and general riffing on this and that.

A few episodes back I wrote about the need to make our end-of-life wishes known. A friend commented that she had done so at some point but now it was lost and she would leave it to her family to figure things out.

My mom died after a week in a coma and a short battle with lymphoma during which time we could not or would not be able to ask about or prepare for her end-of-life.  When mom died on a Friday it was a scramble of 7 siblings to carry out all the many preparations one isn’t faced with until they are. We did it, we did it well,  and then we grieved.

End-of-life wishes are like a GPS for your loved ones, a way to say to them in their time of grief: Here, my beloveds, I can help you; I have this map of what to do and how to go.

Practical Tip: Decide on your GPS and then program it.


Diane F. Wyzga
Diane F. Wyzga
Remember the first time you rode a bike and took your hands off the handlebars? And then because it felt fun and daring you did it again - and again - riding down a hill with the wind in your face, arms up over your head screaming, “Look, ma! No hands!” You showed up. You did it. The arc of my professional career stretches from serving as a US Navy officer and nurse, corporate businesswoman, lawyer, platform storyteller, and professor before shifting into a solopreneur as a litigation consultant, wordsmith-er/editor, noted podcaster, and story consultant who was lucky enough to scuba dive the Continental Shelf, become a pilot, hike the Rocky Mountains with Outward Bound, kayak off the coast of Mexico, parachute out of a perfectly good plane, walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and so much more. Over my lifetime I've been letting go of the handlebars but - just as often - having my fingers pried off when I’ve been most afraid. At some of the darkest moments in my life where the true way was wholly lost to me, a person or opportunity beckoned and I said "Yes!" That’s the place where the story changed. This is my life purpose: Helping women identify, sort out and transform unclear messages into confident, connection-making stories, and those stories into powerful sequels. How? 30 years of story work in courtrooms, boardrooms, universities, retreat settings and more has taught me that story principles are key to conscious connection. Together we distill hazy ideas into easily understood metaphors and direct emotional language using words with power, passion, and precision so your message, your story rings true and achieves desired outcomes. My media company has three interlocking components: Quarter Moon Story Arts: "Shaping stories into sequels." Stories From Women Who Walk (podcast): "Like magic, the sorcery of stories is this: they help each of us to be seen and heard, to understand and be understood." My Life As Compost (blog): "What matters in our life is not what happens to us but how we respond, transform the difficulty into advantage, and tell *that* story."

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  1. Yes to this.

    My mother thinks she is generous when she says that we can decide because she is fine with anything. But I am gradually convincing her that this is her gift to us: We will be busy mourning and a script would really help.
    People are usually more than willing to be generous with their help even when they are embarrassed by the idea that they will be the center of attention.
    That said, many don’t like the subject of their own mortality at all. Pray that the last couple of years have taught us not to be afraid to breach the topic in time.