This is Part 2 of the podcast interview I did with Diane Wyzga where I spoke about the absolutely vital end-of-life planning work that I and my team are spreading around the world.
We were talking about creating Before I Go Solutions as a non-profit when I was asked about the challenges and frustrations I faced.
Hear what I said about this and so much more on the topic of end-of-life planning, how it benefits you and your loved ones, and what you can do about it.
Read the interview notes
Intro2:03 to 4:20
Challenges and Frustrations I’m curious.
You said you knew you were on the right path because of the Yes!, the resounding “Yes!” as you were checking in – but what might have been some of the frustrations and challenges as you were putting all this together?
Challenge #1: Putting it together on a shoestring
Spent all savings on book publication, Gifted By Grief
Yes, felt right in some way. Financials are still a challenge; however Jane has never let lack of money stop her doing anything. Will always find a way.
Challenge #2: After 30 years of working as an independent professional now had a team of directors to confer and decide with.
Had been used to barging ahead with her own ideas, with whatever felt right
Challenge #3: taking on coaches, assistants and the like as Before I Go Solutions expands and develops
Challenge #4: anxiety; growth spurt; doesn’t feel comfortable but that’s what growing anything is like
4:20 to 8:00
Why Should We Even Care About End-of-Life Planning?
Many folks say I don’t care – I’ll be dead – do whatever you like!
The thing is, end-of-life plans are for those who come after
Is an incredibly selfless act
This End-of-Life planning is not for everybody; but is still useful to go through the process
The caring is about you caring about those you love and how they will manage after you dieIf you can make their way easier (which you can) that’s why
It is not easy; that’s why we do it collectively and have facilitators to help
Believe it or not: It’s a creative process; can be fun and enjoyable
More folks are aware and more open to end-of-life planning because of COVID
Over the past year or so of COVID has there been an increased awareness of end-of-life, of mortality?
Do you find that because of COVID that there is not only an increased awareness of life and end-of-life but people are more likely to raise the subject of end-of-life and mortality?
In Jane’s world death is a common topic; people might be having more conversations.
As to the world in general maybe more conversations; but unless the conversation is recorded (even a simple as a list) nothing happens and people remember differently
Unless you translate a conversation into documentation about choices and desires there could be arguments and issues that cause problems among loved ones
This is not just about the funeral but maybe several years down the line: there could be disagreements about this, that or the other: finances, companies, care of children and the likeJane works with those who recognize that End-of-Life planning is a good idea but still haven’t gotten around to it
Jane’s attention is with the willing albeit challenged
8:00 to 11:35
How Do You Draw In and Work With the Willing?
Like filings to a magnet; attract the willing who wish to investJane’s book: Before I Go – has simple instructions
Workbook to complete is a bigger version of original list of questions
Jane discovered that folks do not do the work without help so she created courses
From that a facilitator training course was designed and developed to have facilitators to helpPeople ask: Why is there a charge for all of this stuff?
Especially when it’s there for free although not all in 1 place
People need encouragement and 1 way to do that is put money where mouth is
Jane is driven to get End-of-Life Plans to be as common as birth plansJust do it!
When you do it with others is creative, fun and connectingHost: quilting bee for End-of-Life!
In the day when we could meet together there was that flavour to it
11:35 to 14:40
How Do You Begin the Conversation in the Family, With Loved Ones?
There is a return to face-to-face so we will have the opportunity for a collective; but before we get to that place, how do you start a conversation in the family?
Conversation starters require a contextDo not plan to show up at dinner and ask about burial or cremationIn context it becomes natural to ask a question and discuss the topicWhen
Prince Phillip died he had an End-of-Life Plan for years: he wanted a custom-made Land Rover to carry his coffin which makes for an ideal conversation starter: I was thinking about Prince Philip and his Land Rover and made me realize I’d like a side-car…what would you like?
Ever thought about it?
Another would be: if a celebrity dies, or if you went to funeral, or if attended online funeral, or learned about photo legacy, or even listening to amazing podcast between Diane and Jane Duncan Rogers who is completely mad…Have courage because you don’t know loved ones’ responses in advance
Not easy to ask about personals about sex, money and death; but unless we ask the answer is never given
14:40 to 19:45
Before I Go Solutions Website & Free 10 Question Quiz
The 10 questions are drawn from the original document
People don’t know what they don’t know; that’s one of the main problems
We don’t think about the affect on others
What to destroy: we don’t consider secrets, journals, evidence, etc. that might hurt or be unpleasant to loved ones; decide what to do with those items in advance
The things you really don’t know: who is authorised to speak on behalf of the ill person? It’s not what you think
Know the laws that govern where you live to understand who can speak for you or a loved one
Getting some done is better than nothing
Power of Attorney is key
Healthcare Power of Attorney
Advance Healthcare Directive
What we have control over while we are living and not leave big decisions to family
Extremis is wrenching 24 minute documentary film on Netflix: what happens with families in hospital when Advance Healthcare Directive is not in place
You might very well get treated in the medical system unless you say you don’t in writing or otherwise verbalised it to maximise what you want
We put our heads in the sand about death hoping we will conk out in front of the telly; the truth is most folks end up with a long slow decline getting more and more unhealthy
19:45 to 24:50
We take such care with compassionate End-of-Life decisions with our pets/ animal companions.
We do not consider ourselves, our loved ones – nor do we think about the digital footprint.
Question: what will happen to it, what can happen to it, what can people do to remove the footprint or let it be?
You have to make conscious decision to keep or delete
Jane got a friend to deal with Phillip’s Facebook page; but doesn’t know more than that
Do you want to continue as alive on social media after you’re dead, or not?
For the young people it could be used as a memorial site that also meant something to friends
What do you want, how do want us to carry on, and where is it put down so we know what to do?
Then get on with living your life.
Host recalls a book about End-of-Life plan (Handbook for Mortals) where it was set out to how to take the opportunity to tie up loose ends; what happens if you do all that and you don’t die, was it all in vain?
No; you’ve done all the work, no worry that something is lacking.
Go and live your life until you don’tEducating yourself about the myriad of details is helpful for those coming after and helps you prioritise what’s important
24:50 to 28:08
Highlights About Topics
What are other topics to address, chapter headings of what’s to be learned.
Secrets, Journals, Letters, Diaries.
What you want to keep private
Advanced Directive is critical so the designated person can act on your behalf in the way in which you want to be treated
End-of-life planning work is a project; can be done in 3 months or upwards of a year or two longer depending on circumstances
The benefit? Relief!
What’s available? Online course (self-study) plus live opportunities with facilitators trained to hold folks accountable
28:08 to 31:00
Joy in End-of-Life Planning and Topic of Death
There is an over-riding sense of joy in this conversation with Jane which is a combination of true energy, purpose, passion and bringing End of Life Ellie the Elephant to the light.
This isn’t grim or depressing. This is engaging.
Jane loves the word “joy!” in this work, especially because of her experience – even though it didn’t start off like that
There can be joy and fun in death and preparing for it, as her clients say to describe the work they do on the courses
Before I Go Solutions bring a lightness to the topic – they switch a light on in what’s perceived as a dark room
31:00 to 37:38
As we sit here today what would you like to see happen in the world as a result of your work?
Completely fueled by the idea that End-of-Life plans will be so normal – like birth plans
Having a plan is better than not
Jane’s Big Mission: commonplace in the world
Now, what about seeing End-of-Life plans as part of the corporate Employee Benefits package, the Human Resources Department, all part of culture changeJane has always been a pioneer in her past; she sees the horizon wide openAs we begin to close, what might have been left unsaid?
The gift in the grief: from horrible to enormous number of spiritual insights she wrote about in her book, which completely changed her, and that it took Phillip’s death to do thatWhat folks are interested in: practical side of things
Jane followed her heart to respond to that interestIf Life is calling you, your job is to follow it no matter how mad it might seemTook 10 people saying the same thing before she paid attention
A resounding “Yes!”Before I say thank you to Jane I want to mention that all social media links, and TEDx talk, and connections to Jane Duncan Rogers and her work, Before I Go Solutions will be posted in the Episode Notes.
Please do make sure you drop by her website, take that free 10 question quiz, and consider consulting with her, and perhaps joining one of the training groups.
Thank you very much, Jane, for walking along with us and sharing your life journey story which, I trust, will be of very good use and inspiration to those who are curious about and those who are ready to apply some solutions to these end-of-life questions.
I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story with us.
Thank you so much for the opportunity. I just want to spread the word as much as I can!
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