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Who Do You Trust to Tell You?

One of my best friends has Parkinson's. We are talking long-time friends: Lane and I met the first day of college in an elevator when it broke down, and we introduced ourselves while waiting for the elevator to be fixed.

After college, every year, we’d get together.

Annually, we hunt with our friend Russell. During one of our hunts a few years back, Lane shared his diagnosis of Parkinson's. At some point that week, the three of us sat down and Lane discussed with us the prognosis. As you can imagine, it was a difficult discussion. Near the end of the talk, Lane asked us if we would tell him when it was time to stop; time to stop trying; time to let go; time to let things take their course. We promised. It was a promise to my friend. It was a promise from someone he trusted.

It made me think very hard about my own situation. I own my own law firm. But I realize someday it will be time for me to step away. So, after my discussion with Lane, I talked with my partner, Jenny. Jenny has been with me for 15 years and I trust her judgment. I shared with her that I wanted her to feel comfortable telling me when it was time for me to stop coming into the office; it was time for me to retire. While I trust my wife as well, I worry that perhaps we will be too close to the situation and not be objective.

Similarly, I've had talks with my family about what type of quality of life is important to me; about what is a quality of life; what is not a quality of life for me; and when I want them to stop trying to save me.

I know these are hard discussions, but it makes me feel better that I'd have people that I know will be honest with me, and more importantly, that will follow my wishes.

We all need someone we can trust to have that hard conversation with us. Do you?

Find someone that you know you can trust to have that conversation and that will follow your wishes.


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