I've been practicing living in the moment. Aligning myself as a human BEING as opposed to a human DOER who is tied to a calendar, lists, and other strategies for keeping up with the to do's, or check marks for done. I've gotten so accustomed to being in the moment that when asked how I am doing, I often describe my present joy. Sometimes this is sufficient and the questioner and I have a delightful conversation about our mutual happiness. But sometimes, the one asking the question will look at me with bewilderment and say something like, "Well, I can see you are happy, but what do you actually do?"
I responded by sharing a list of some of the things I have enjoyed doing this past year in my practice:
- Assisting a much too young client in probating her twin brother’s estate after he died unexpectedly and without a will.
- Representing a client in a guardianship matter who wanted to discharge his mother from a skilled nursing home so that her passing would be in a loving environment surrounded by her family.
- Helping families understand the plethora of long term care options and how Medicare, Medicaid, Special Assistance, and Veteran Administration pension benefits might or might not help them.
- Working with families who don’t have a wealth manager, but need someone to help them think carefully and creatively about how to achieve the desired quality of life and obtain the most appropriate and highest quality of care possible for their loved one.
- Traveling to homes, hospitals, and hospice to meet with clients who want to make certain their legal documents are in order and accurately reflect their wishes.
- Helping parents of young children have access to an affordable and simple estate plan for themselves and their children which typically includes a simple will with a testamentary trust, health care power of attorney, living will/advance directive, and durable power of attorney.
- Facilitating difficult and emotional conversations. Clients find it easy to have hard conversations with me on subjects like disability, death, mortality and our humanity. Once a client came seeking advice about how to find and pay for long term care for her mother. She left my office with an acceptance that her parent was in the active process of dying. With this new focus, hospice was able to come on board the next day and provide support for the entire family--up to and beyond the parent’s death.
- Educating and empowering older clients to have a conversation with their doctor about a Do No Resuscitate Order and a Medical Order for Scope of Treatment.