If you had a condition that you could not recover from, what would be important to you, towards the end of your life?
Foremost to have control over my treatment, control over the manner of my death and to be able to put my affairs in order and say the things that should be said, write the letters that need to be written.
Are there any pets that you would like to see or be with you if this is possible?
Without a doubt, pets are so good for people. They add a sense of normalcy to the situation and provide comfort and unconditional love – they also help with depression and lower blood pressure.
Would you prefer a quiet environment or do you prefer activity and chatter around you?
I do not want to be in a hospital surrounded by medical equipment. I will make sure I have the opportunity to choose and to have my favourite music and movies playing and friends around
Would you like music to be playing and if so, what style or what music?
My taste in music is very broad Irish folk, Bollywood, classical, opera Gilbert and Sullivan 1940-1980s. Again normalising the situation no sober or soft tones
Is there anyone particular you would like to see or talk to?
My partner and my children and friends
Is there anything else you can think of that you would like?
I have already planned my funeral and wake. A private cremation, no mourners then a celebration of my time in this life. My ashes to be spread at the Sangha in Melbourne in the rose garden.
What is on your bucket list of things you would like to do or achieve before you die?
There are so many things I want to do write the great novel, be published, travel back to Tibet, Malaysia, Nepal, India, Bali, England, Germany. To meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama again, be closer to friends. To know my kids and my grandkids understand how much I loved them and how I tried to provide a better world for them to live in
How did you feel during the process of completing this form? Was there anything about the process that interested or surprised you?
Pleased I have done it. I was not surprised but interested to see I used the word normalisation. I don’t fear dying but I do fear the manner of my death. Western society does not sit easily with discussions on death and dying. It is part of the circle of life, it is but another great adventure.
We need to talk about death and dying and our wishes. As a provider of support for caregivers with terminally ill relatives I so often hear the response “Oh we have never talked about it” or “I don’t know what they would want, it isn’t a subject we discussed” or “We don’t have an Advanced Health Care directive in place we didn’t want to upset them by talking about these things” or “It’s morbid I don’t want to think about it” and then there is the classic “I’m too busy to to talk about it”
The above is my response to the questions posed in May 2016 to Maggie Beer and her response presented by Palliative Care Australia http://palliativecare.org.au/palliative-matters/maggie-beer-is-dying-to-talk/#.WGmdRJTfgks.facebook