Several years ago, I read about a woman, Alexandra Drane, who started a movement called Engage with Grace, where people would discuss end of life care with their families during Thanksgiving Dinner. She chose this particular time because there is s good chance that most family members are together during this holiday. Initially, this might sound like a difficult topic to discuss (death), but it becomes easier if the discussion is amongst family members and based on the guideline questions that she created and called the theoneslide. Each family member should indicate their wishes to the questions on this simple questionnaire. I don’t believe that the Engage with Grace website is in existence any longer but the questions are still really valid.
If you are uncertain about how to proceed with these end of life questions, sometimes it is best to consult outside professionals, such as clergy or attorneys. I suggest photocopying the Engage with Grace one slide for each family member to fill out with his/her wishes. This small act will probably prompt more conversation on related topics, but that is probably a good thing. Being fully prepared for the end of life is wise and a consolation for the rest of your family.
Then of course, I suggest celebrating your discussion with a glass of wine or a slice of pumpkin pie.