How Talking About Death Can Help You Live A Better Life

According to Ungerleider, talking about death can help you refine your end-of-life care plan (aka, how you wish to spend your final days, should you become seriously ill at the end of your life). Ungerleider, herself, signed a health care proxy—meaning, someone who knows her well can speak for her if she is unable to speak for herself. But to get to that point, you’d have to, well, talk to a loved one about what you want out of end-of-life care—whether it’s in a hospital setting, at home surrounded by family, or somewhere in the middle. 

“Knowing that I have somebody who can advocate for me, if I can’t speak for myself, gives me a lot of solace,” she says. “As hard as it is to even think about the day when you are no longer going to be alive, I would encourage people to personally reflect on what matters most to you, God forbid you are to become seriously ill.” 

It doesn’t have to be a morbid or dark conversation, she notes. It’s an intense discussion, sure, but once you and your loved ones know how you wish to spend your final days, you may feel a sense of comfort—you’ll know someone quite literally has your back. We should also note: You don’t have to have a final answer right now! Ungerleider doesn’t know exactly how she wants to spend her last days, but just knowing she can have someone to advocate for her brings her peace of mind. “We’ve got to talk about those things, and it’s really helpful.” 

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