The Conversation Project

Life’s Most Critical Talk

“When you think about the last phase of your life, what’s most important to you?”

Do you know how your loved ones – and you – would answer that question? The end of life is a significant part of life, both for those departing and the loved ones who remain. A clear understanding of how each person wishes to experience the end of their life, what they value most and how this final transition can be the best possible for all involved is the focus of The Conversation Project.

The Conversation Project offers tools, guidance and encouragement to have open and honest discussions with loved ones about how you and they want to live life at the end. The death of a loved one can be difficult; the ability to participate and support our loved ones in the most meaningful way at the end of life can bring great comfort and deeper connections, diminishing stress and difficulty at this time.

The Conversation Starter Kit is designed to help you get your thoughts together and to have the conversation. It isn’t about filling out Advance Directives or other medical forms. It’s about talking to your loved ones about what you or they want for end-of-life care.

There is also a companion guide, “How to Talk to Your Doctor” to help you share your wishes with your health care providers.

The Conversation Project website provides these and additional resources to help you talk to your loved ones about end-of-life wishes. Here you can read others’ stories about what it was like to have the conversation; or about not talking about wishes until it was too late. Reading about other people’s experiences can be a good way to get your own conversation started.

The Conversation Project is a public engagement campaign with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s end-of-life wishes expressed and respected. We encourage you to have “The Conversation” with your loved ones early and often; around the kitchen table, not in the ICU. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and values in a relaxed, familiar environment can be an enriching and fulfilling experience for families – in contrast to the emotionally difficult decisions that are too often made in the hospital waiting room.