A national survey by The Conversation Project found that 9 in 10 Americans want to discuss their loved ones’ and their own end-of-life care, but approximately only 3 in 10 Americans have actually had these types of conversations.

Talking about death doesn’t bring death closer or sooner. It’s really about planning for life, helping to make the most of whatever time that any of us have left. Start the conversation, particularly with loved ones and those with whom you are closest to. It is never easy. The topic and material and resources provided here are not intended to upset people, or promote a doomsday approach to life. It is quite the contrary; the focus is to guide you as you prepare to help and support your loved ones to live every day of their lives to the fullest, by understanding and supporting their wishes, desires and needs now.

Our hope is that when we bring this topic out into the open, it will not be so fearful and we can embrace life in every possible way that is meaningful to you & your loved ones. Since everyone faces the reality of this situation, wouldn’t it be better to have these concerns already addressed and use what time we have to be together, living the last days as fully as possible?

This can be the first of many conversations, so you don’t have to cover everyone or everything right now. The important thing is to start the conversation and create a dialogue.