Broaching subjects of aging and mortality for many – no, most – is extremely difficult and painful. The easiest first approach may seem to be casually bringing up the subject in a very general, no threatening manner. Perhaps discussing an aging related news story or magazine article will open the door.
The onset of a serious illness or death of an acquaintance, friend or relative frequently leads to thoughts of one’s own aging and mortality. Such an occurrence may also provide you an opportunity to begin discussing these issues with your loved one. It is often easier to speak about possibilities or probabilities than actualities.
Before your discussion consider the following Do’s and Don’ts:
DO: show compassion, be understanding, acknowledge and hear their fears and be patient.
DON’T: become adversarial, belittle or dismiss their thoughts and feeling or treat them as though they are children.