Update: April 2020

I don’t know about you, but it feels to me like we are in a time warp. So much has changed recently.

With Health Care Decisions Day (April 16) right around the corner and a pandemic in our faces, I am certain of only one thing now: Death. After all, tax deadlines have been delayed.

One thing that hasn’t changed and that we cannot hope to change, is that we are mortal beings. Our current circumstances simply underscore how tenuous life can be.

I invite you to dust off your advance directives if you haven’t already done so. Most of us wrote those without a pandemic in mind. I know I did. I’ve recently gotten much more specific with my family about what I do and do not want at the end, including if I should fall ill with this virus.

During a time when we’re getting buried in pandemic news, I know it may feel exhausting to look at one more thing, but I encourage you to read this. A team of end of life experts candidly offer their perspective by answering direct questions from people like you and me:

Your Coronavirus Questions Answered: COVID-19 Exposes Complex Concerns in End-of-Life Care

I know the pandemic has wreaked all kinds of havoc. People have lost loved ones, jobs, businesses, their sense of security, and the freedom to move about. Healthcare workers, emergency responders, grocery and postal workers, and other essential folks daily put themselves in harm’s way while it feels the world around us is coming apart at the seams.

And yet, we are also seeing incredible resilience, deep compassion, innovation, creativity, and tangible evidence that we are a global community seeking to survive and become better.

The one constant we can count on, without fail, is our mortality and our connection to one another and to this planet. We are here for such a very short time.

Be kind. Go gently with one another. Allow your heart to break wide open.