The dreaded talk: The one you remember as a teenager when your parents blindsided you with the embarrassing sex education talk; the one where you had nothing to say but, “OK, I got it, could we go watch TV now.” And then there came a time in life when you were the parent. Perhaps you and your spouse had a debate about who should do it; maybe even an argument. The problem is you don’t get a lot of practice on this topic. My own mother, bless her heart, handed me a manila envelope with a physician’s brochure and told me if I had any questions I should ask her. Believe me I was not about to have any questions! If you could select the most awkward moments in life the “dreaded talk” might make the list. It is a pinnacle point of vulnerability for both parent and child. It is as “naked” as you can get with your clothes on!
There is another dreaded talk that happens at the opposite end of life or it should happen. It is when the kids talk to their parents about end-of-life planning. It sounds so ominous, but this is as necessary as knowing about the birds and bees. Avoiding these candid conversations can lead to disaster. Questions about living arrangements, downsizing, living wills, powers of attorney, funeral plans, et.al. are critical. The healthiest individuals plan for the future; prepare for as many scenarios as possible, then proceed to confidently live life to its fullest. This conversation may have as many vulnerabilities as the sex talk. It delves into areas that are awkward and sensitive. No one really wants to talk about dying, but until you face your own death you cannot fully live. Maybe you could just print this blog out and hand it to your parent(s). Have a good laugh and an important conversation!