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Posts tagged: Five Wishes

Three funerals, two weddings, one month

I have attended three funerals in two weeks: a 20-something, a 30-something – both died unexpectedly – and a 60-something who had a year to live with a cancer diagnosis.  And while the 60-something had time to plan, she did not include some important details.

We plan for weddings with meticulous detail: the ritual, the location, and the key players. We do not like to plan for our final exit, but planning can make our final exit easier for us, as well as those who care for us.

Washington recognizes a document titled: Five Wishes. It is a living will with details and allows one to give direction on end-of-life care, who knows funeral preferences, and our most important messages to others, when a person may not be able to speak for her/himself.

The weddings in two weeks are well-planned: a beach ceremony with country club reception and the other  wedding in a private garden with casual attire for the Hawaii-bound couple.  Every guest knows that these are the desires of each couple.

Those attending our final farewell deserve the same confidence as they send us off on our last journey.

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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