The following is a repost from 2012, one of the first examples of what would become my “featured commenters” series:
I want to continue the Engage with Grace blog rally by highlighting my favorite comment thread about it, from a 2010 post on e-patients.net. For me, this is what blogging is about — providing a public space for debate about ideas that matter to you.
I really think that a topic like end of life discussions should not be open during thanksgiving. I think we should talk about the best things or happiest moments during holidays. There are days you can set and talk to your family about “end of life”, don’t turn a happy holiday to a gloomy holiday.
I’ll tell you what gloomy is.
It’s when a family member has had a catastrophic health disaster, with no meaningful recovery possible, sedated and hooked up to and dependent on life support, with tubes and beeping machines everywhere, with most of the family believing that the sick person would want to be let go, based on their interpretations of how they’d live their life till then, but others thinking the opposite, and others opposed to terminating life support, in general, for other reason. And, then that family starts to fight, or the loudest most assertive person takes over, or no decision is made at all and the sick person just lingers and dies anyway, because there’s nothing objective to show the way to would the sick person would have wanted for them selves.
Those scenarios, which get played out over and over and over again, is what is really and truly gloomy and awkward and morbid and painful, and that will wound and strain family ties like few other things will. Continue reading the thread…
Here are some other bloggers who have taken the theme and walked with it (“ran” doesn’t seem like the right verb here):
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart – Brian Ahier
Chapstick, morphine, and good-byes: Engage With Grace – Carol Torgan
We Can Engage with Grace? – Wendy Sue Swanson
Adding Meaning to Thanksgiving: Engage with Grace – Eve Harris
Engage with Grace — Again, and Again, and Again – Bryan Vartabedian
Engage with Grace – Ted Eytan
Engage with Grace – Regina Holliday