A Difficult Conversation
It may seem morbid to speak of death and illness, but partners in a long term relationship can eventually face the possibility either could happen to one of them. Rather than leave all the decisions to one person, a difficult conversation is important to establish what each person would want done. Living with the aid of life support if there is a chance of recovery might be the path one person wishes to take, but the other could request no resuscitation in the event of a catastrophic medical event.
Life and death decisions can be part of a long term relationship, and the treatment options vary. Knowing exactly what a partner wants can help ease the burden, and it can help the family accept their choices. It is important these days to have a living will to help a partner in this situation, and it can avoid the emotional toll of a person’s family suing their partner over life and death decisions.
No person living for decades with someone they love wants to make the decision to pull them off life support, but some have had to make it. Ensuring a partner has a clear idea of what is wanted can make it easier for them, and having a living will can help them through the legal complications of the situation. Being prepared well before the possibility of an illness or accident that can happen will make it easier for both partners to accept the inevitable.
Losing a partner is never easy, but holding out hope where none exists can make it worse. Fighting family and friends over the decisions that must be made further complicate the situation, and they can take a huge emotional toll. Loving another person means having this difficult conversation early and backing it up with a written document to support the decision.