I can’t believe it. It was so many years in the making, and in a few short weeks my book, “Memoirs of a Hospital Chaplain: I Stand Near the Door” is published and launched, and I have a website. In addition to my Facebook page “Chaplain Geri Cappabianca” I truly have come into the electronic age. For those of us who grew up without remotes, cell phones and computers, all this is truly a miracle!!
I am so happy to have a blog and a way to reach out to like minded folks. We are spiritual, have a few bumps and bruises from life and love, yet seem to find the blessings in life despite it’s challenges. We walk together through our doors, the doors to life and death. We are not afraid to talk of life’s deepest meaning and our own spiritual experiences. We welcome and accept each person as they are, and listen to their story with open hearts. I warmly welcome you!!
We are about to walk through the door to a New Year. The old is gone, the new lies before us. What better time to set some goals that we may have been putting off? Like planning for the end-of-life.
We are alive and well, in good health, happy to be alive. However, life is unpredictable. We can feel great one day, and the next day be fighting for our life in intensive care through no fault of our own. As a hospital chaplain I have seen this many times. This is not the time to be asking family, “What are the patient’s wishes regarding end-of-life?” It is so hard for the family if this has not been discussed, and it causes so much suffering for the patient and the family.
This year, sooner rather than later, talk with your family about your wishes. Do you want to be kept alive on life support, breathing machines, artificial nutrition and hydration if all hope of recovery is gone?
When my daughters were young, my husband and I wrote our “living will” with a lawyer, outlining our wishes and choosing a healthcare proxy, someone who would make decisions for us if we were unable to speak for ourselves. Once it was signed, we put it in a drawer where we were able to access it. We prayed we’d never need it, but if we did, it was there. And we didn’t need it, but I openly discuss these issues with my daughters who are now much older. They know what I want, and I feel good about it.
The State of Connecticut, like many states, has a “Living Will” or “Advance Directives” form on their government website.
It outlines what is legal in that specific state. A lawyer is not needed to complete it, but it must be witnessed.
Another wonderful form is “Five Wishes” available at:
It is legal is most states and is very well done. Again, witnesses are necessary.
At the very least, have a conversation with your parents, children, friends and relatives so that they know what your wishes are. It will greatly help your healthcare providers to follow YOUR wishes, not what others want for you. Do it once, and you don’t have to do it again, and hopefully you won’t need it, but if you do, it will bring great peace of mind and heart to all.
So now the hard stuff is out of the way!
Have a Happy New Year, may God send many blessings and peace your way in 2016! Come back again and visit and I ALWAYS welcome your feedback!!