to know one’s own self

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Seven End-of-Life Questions for Terminally Ill Patients

What is your understanding now of where you are with your illness?

How much information about what is likely to be ahead with your illness would you like from me?

If your health situation worsens, what are your most important goals?

What are your biggest fears and worries about the future with your health?

What abilities are so critical to your life that you can’t imagine living without them?

If you become sicker,how much are you willing to go through for the possibility of gaining more time?

How much does your family know about your wishes and priorities?

note: from the book,Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande

“We assume their goal is survival,” he says. However, “people have things to live for besides living longer.”

-Atul Gawande

kind of strength

“We are always putting the pieces together without knowing the picture ahead of time. I have been with many people in times of profound loss and grief when an unsuspected meaning begins to emerge from the fragments of their lives. Over time, this meaning has proven itself to be durable and trustworthy, even transformative. It is a kind of strength that never comes to those who deny their pain.”-Rachel Naomi Remen

note: excerpts from Kitchen Table Wisdom,VI Embracing Life, by Rachel Naomi Remen. She relates a story about the relationship of putting together a jigsaw puzzle and life.