We just want to start this post by saying that this is not a sponsored post. Nina had heard about these cards through work and we all decided we needed to have this conversation.
Talking about our hopes and dreams is something we do in our family a lot – what we want to accomplish, what we want for our kids, what we want for our spouses, etc. We are all very aware of what the other wants to do with their lives. What we never talk about is what we want at the end of our lives. Of course it’s not a typical conversation to have – it’s super morbid, it’s uncomfortable, and quite frankly, we probably wouldn’t get through it without cracking jokes. But it only takes one tragedy to make you realize that you really do need to have the conversation. For Dipti, having two boys, a home, a beautiful family, and an incredible husband who pretty much takes care of everything, she felt like it was time for her and Sachin to talk about their hopes and wishes for the end of their lives as you never know what this story has coming. Not knowing where to even start, she decided the best way to go about it was with the Go Wish cards.
The Go Wish cards are a set of 36 cards that have “wishes” on them that range in topics. They say things like “to be at peace with God” and “to be free from pain” and “to have a doctor I trust.” They say things that you think about all the time and things you would never think about unless you were on your death bed. The goal of the cards is to arrange them such that you are left with 10 of the most important things to you so you can discuss those things with your family. Another way to “play” is to pick 10 wishes that you assume would be most important to the person you are playing with and discuss why you picked right or wrong. The point of the cards is to talk. Talk about what you want from you life, your family, your doctors, your spouse, your faith, from everything and everyone. Here’s Dipti’s experience with the Go Wish cards:
Doing the cards with Sachin was quite eye opening. As I was reading them the first time around I had already picked 4 or 5 that I knew would be in Sachin’s top 10. But we weren’t playing the game that way. We decided to pick the top 10 that were most important to us and talk about those. It took us both about 10 minutes to sort through the cards and pick our “very important,” “somewhat important,” and “not so important” piles. Ironically we both ended up with 16 “very important” cards. But as per the rules we had to narrow it down to 10. It took us a little longer to pick 6 cards that we had to take out of our very important pile. Once we were able to settle on those, we had to put the 10 we were left with in order of importance. That part took much longer. I really struggled with picking between how I physically felt (“to be free from anxiety” and “to be free from pain”) and being with the people I love (“to be with family” and “not to be a burden to my family”). I ultimately decided that being with my family was the most important thing to me – to be with my husband and kids and my sisters and my parents. Another wish among my top 10 was to be mentally aware, which Sachin was surprised to see. It got us talking and we both realized that it meant something completely different to both of us. For me it was not to be a vegetable and to Sach it meant to know who you are and who the people around you are and aware of what is going on. With Alzheimer’s in my family history, Sach saw that as the mental issue whereas I saw it completely differently. But the important part if that it made us have that conversation about what we’d want in both cases.
Much to my surprise, Sachin didn’t have the cards I assumed he would have in his top 10! His most important wish was “to have my financial affairs in order.” After talking to him about it he made me realize that I had no idea about any of our financial affairs, that I would have no idea where to even look to figure out what we had and how to sort through it. It made us talk about the boys and if they have families and what we’d want for them and how to handle their inheritances. We talked about wanting to keep peace in our household and how finances are such a easy way to destroy that peace in a time of tragedy and he wanted to make sure that it wasn’t an issue during his time. We also talked about not being a burden to our families and how that was really important to both of us. We wanted to make sure that there was “an advocate” for us who knew and supported our values and priorities but that the family was prepared and at peace with losing us.
It wasn’t an easy conversation by any means. Of course Sach will always make light of things by joking about having our kids change our diapers when we’re older as payback (eye roll). But the conversation was really enlightening and actually made me appreciate him so much more to think that in his last wishes he wants to make sure his family is at peace.
We absolutely recommend having this conversation with your family and loved ones. Noone wants to think of these things, but death is a natural part of life and unfortunately it may come without warning. So while we’re in our right minds with the people we love, we should talk.
Again, not a paid post. Just something that’s been on our minds.