What would you do with months left to live?


It’s Hospice Awareness Week this week.  It’s always some kind of day, or week or month, but we all end up in a place where we may need hospice care.

What would you do if you had only months left to live?

It’s question being put to residents of Auckland’s North Shore as part of Hospice Awareness Week, which starts tomorrow.

Hospice North Shore is putting blackboards up across the area inviting locals to share what they would do if they had just months to live, with the hope of engaging residents of all ages to think about what is important to them; inspiring them to do what matters.

“Many of the people for whom we care find that their illness helps them focus on what is really important,” Hospice North Shore chief executive Jan Nichols said.

“We believe the advice to live every moment is relevant to everyone, regardless of their age or state of health.”

The hospice is asking people to consider donating this week, as the organisation relies heavily on fundraising. […]

The charity provides physical, emotional and spiritual support that is possible only because of the generosity of the local community.

What would you do if you only had a few more months left?


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  • Kendall

    Ride a bull named blue Manchu

  • Falcor

    Stop work

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Head back to Alaska and Hawaii if I was fit enough, spend some money, have some fun. Make sure my imediate family is provided for, and donate a good amount to good charities. I do a monthly amount to North Shore Hospice.
    Yes I would stop work, but I don’t need to work now, I just like it.

  • ex-JAFA

    Quit work and put more effort into my heavy drinking.

  • Usaywot

    Spend every possible moment with those that I love. That’s all that matters in the end and what makes me most happy. I have personal experience of Hospice care when my beloved died at Mercy Hospice. I cannot praise them enough. It is an amazing place full of peace, calm and love. The love, care and attention from the staff is amazing, they are very special people. And if only people realised, Hospice care negates any need for euthanasia.

  • rua kenana

    Maybe the ex post view of regrets of things not done in life might be some guide for the few remaing months.
    From: http://www.mindful.org/no-regrets/

    Top 5 Regrets of the Dying:

    1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

    From the time we’re born we’re looking to our parents to teach us the rules of this world and to guide our expectations about how we should or shouldn’t act. Looking to our culture or other people to guide how we should dress, speak, act, and even what kind of profession we should be in is common. What would it look like to get in touch with what seems right to you and live an authentic life?

    2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

    As the saying goes, no one ever kicked themselves on their deathbeds for missing a day of work. Sometimes we work too much out of routine, other times from other people’s expectations and sometimes as an addictive behavior to avoid discomfort. Are there things that may be more valuable to pay attention to where we can loosen up on working so hard and pay attention to things that nourish us more?

    3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

    Whether it’s at work, in a friendship or a partnership we make the snap judgment to bite our tongue rather than being assertive. Standing in an authentic life means becoming aware of and expressing our feelings. This may be a missed opportunity to let others know we love them that can create deeper connections or maybe it’s a time when someone hurts us and we stay silent out of fear. Learning how to become more aware of our emotions and express them in a skillful way can help us feel more connected, self-reliant and happy.

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

    There’s no question. At the crux of feeling happy and fulfilled in life is having nurturing relationships. There are so many ways to stay connected nowadays through text, chat, email, social media, the phone and of course face to face. How might you make it a priority to make relationships an integral part of your day to day life?

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

    Bronnie Ware said that many people didn’t notice until the end of life that happiness is a choice. With awareness we can make conscious choices about what nourishes us and what depletes us. What beliefs we want to invest in and which ones we don’t. We may get hooked into states of high stress, anxiety, depression and even trauma reactions, but at some point we get to choose how we want to relate to them and this may help us ride them with more grace. Maybe it’s time to play a little more, what makes you happy?

  • GerardB

    Go home

  • Des

    Get a NZ Herald subscription.
    Take up golf.

  • D.Dave

    Go on a ‘roadie’ and visit everyone I wanted to see. Especially old mates.

  • Monty’smate

    Thank all who work at our country’s hospices and all who support them- and say how grateful I am that there are people who do indeed believe that those with a terminal illness deserve ‘physical, emotional and spiritual support’ and don’t deserve to be put down like dogs as the euthanasia enthusiasts want.

  • Mac50

    I sold up and quit Auckland in my early 40’s and moved to a holiday resort in the South Is. Plenty of fun things to do and travelled extensively in between. But after 3 years it got quite tedious so I took on a local business to be more engaged and something to do. But after a few years of that I still felt like my brain was turning to mush, with the limited stimulation and hankered for more. So I retrained as a Science teacher in my early 50’s and have now done 4.5 years in the class room, loving every day. Yes, I am busier than I have ever been, not earning much compared to my earlier business career, but it is unbelievably fantastic to have a reason to engage with young people and help them on their way to achieving their dreams.
    So my message is, quitting work can be the worst thing that happens to you, and staying involved in a role that helps others is far more satisfying. When my head hits the pillow and I think Day after day, ‘Yes, today was a great day’, I know this is a much better way to live.

    BTW, I have ended up back in Auckland too, which actually isn’t so bad, despite the many naysayers.

  • As I said in the last post I will continue working till I die. No one else can or will support me.

    As it happens I’m currently waiting for another visit and more surgery at North Shore Hospital. (If you’re from NSH and reading you guys and gals rawk!)
    I’m pretty certain I’m not at any real risk, but the reality must be faced, things go wrong and unplanned for stuff happens.

    I’m changing my will and making plans but whatever happens I have no intention of dying in any other fashion than the way I have lived.

    Free, independent and working!