Today it’s another ‘Docked Leaf’, but rather than looking at a book or a podcast, this is actually a video that I recently stumbled across and wanted to share with you. By way of a preface, a couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with someone who works in advance care planning, and he was telling me about some work he had done with a couple who had been married for over 60 years.
Is 60 Years Long Enough to Know Someone?
The exercise he carried out with them was for each to write down the funeral wishes of the other person – their spouse.
They then showed their answers and the reactions were…interesting.
For example, the husband cited a particular piece of music he thought his wife would want played at her funeral.
Imagine his response when her rection was one of, ‘Why did you choose that?’ What he thought was an important piece of music for her… was not something that strongly resonated at all.
This is a good piece of anecdotal evidence that just because you’ve known someone an awfully long time (married 60 years, remember), it doesn’t automatically mean you know everything about them.
Especially when it comes to matters around end of life planning and the wishes associated with that.
Love Is Not Enough
I recently stumbled across a video from Advance Care Planning Australia called ‘Love is Not Enough’.
You can find it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsZ287okI8c&feature=emb_logo
The video focuses on several pairs of people, such as a married couple, or a father and daughter. They are interviewed separately and asked a variety of questions about the other person. They are then brought back together and shown the responses – the camera is able to capture the response of the person who the question was about, and how accurate the answer was.
The questions start out as innocuous, almost trivial-type questions such as , ‘What is [your partner’s/father’s] favourite food?’
The sort of question you would expect to know the answer for someone close to you.
The questions then change and become more challenging as they – you will have guessed – move on to matters around end of life.
For example, I think one of the questions is around if something happened and your spouse ended up requiring a feeding tube and they were not going to be able to speak again, what would you want to happen? I’ll let you watch the response…
The Real Question?
I think we all assume that we know what somebody else would want, especially if we have known them for a really long time.
But I think the question we need to ask is; have we told the people around us what we would want?
Please do watch the video and then let me know what you think. In particular:
- Does it make you more inclined to have those conversations with those closest to you?
- Are you confident that you know what the people around you would want in those situations?
- And are you confident that those people would know what you want if you were in that situation?
I’d love to know your thoughts, questions, comments and queries in the comments below.
Until next time, take care.