People of the United Kingdom solemnly mourn the passing of their beloved Queen
Perhaps we can all learn a little from this passing of a monarch and how we treat the very subject of loss of loved ones in our own country. Some have historically commented that the American culture is the only one in the world in which we think of death as optional. Consider that we hear ourselves or those we know saying “in case anything ever happens to me…” In case? The end of life is not a maybe
It is my hope that we can see the dignity in the way Queen Elizabeth II
We can only get there if we are willing to examine our own attitudes. We can mull over our own thoughts on death and dying. If we can reach acceptance that our loved ones, particularly those who are elderly, frail and in declining health are going to meet their end one day, we will all be better off. We do not need to choose the perspective that when someone passes peacefully and comforted at home that this is a “horrible tragedy”. We can choose instead to prepare, honor their wishes as provided in their Advance Healthcare Directive (also called healthcare power of attorney) and ensure that what they wanted gets done. Honoring our loved ones is the point, one that can avert the rancor stemming from disagreement and denial of death among family members. And we can choose to give voice to an aging parent’s thoughts and wishes by asking them about these matters before it is too late.
I am thankful that the press, generally, has presented the news surrounding the Queen’s passing in a way that reflects her own acceptance of the inevitable end. How she handled planning for her demise is an example worth noting and emulating. None of us may live as royals but death does not discriminate.