One day we will die.
I’m not trying to be profound. It is a fact of life. Barring an untimely accident, we will also grow old before then. For two events that we know for sure are going to happen, we are extremely ill-prepared for them.
Dr. Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal is trying to change that. Confronting old age and our mortality is a series of hard questions and choices. Preparing ourselves and discussing these hard choices with our loved ones before they occur alleviates some of the burden and stress when these decisions need to be made. Discussing the hard stuff now makes sure that what you want is implemented. If the hard decision is left to your loved ones to make at the time of an event then they will make a decision from their perspective and under duress.
Being Mortal is not just about the end of life. The book is a great starting point when thinking about elder care. The struggle families have when the role of parent and child are reversed. The good and the bad of nursing homes. And how to allow the elderly to remain in control of their lives.
We will all face these issues as a child and as someone who will get old too. It is an important book to read.
*If you’re always on the look out for something new to read then sign-up for my once a month-ish book recommendation email.