Michael Williams, Ph.D.
Accredited Before I Go Solutions® End-of-Life Planning Facilitator
"When I accepted death as a part of life, living became a whole lot richer."
I became an End-of-Life Planning Facilitator, Trainer, and Educator because I didn't want anyone to go through what I went through when my father died. Death came suddenly so there was little time to prepare. I knew that somewhere, he had a will. But beyond that, neither my stepmother nor anyone else knew exactly what he wanted. What sort of medical treatment did he want or, more importantly, not want? Did he want to be buried or cremated? Where? and what about his finances, property, and belongings? In our family, no one ever talked about death.
At one point when he was dying, the doctors came to me and asked for my permission to try a treatment. It was a desperate attempt to halt his advancing bone cancer. My dad couldn't speak for himself at that point so I had no idea what he would want. All he'd ever said to me was he wanted to go home. There was no time to think. I agreed to the procedure. Sadly, in the end, it did not prolong his life and he was left feeling very uncomfortable and depressed. I was left feeling guilty that I'd made the wrong decision.
My dad died shortly after.
In the years that followed my dad's death, I have met many others who have had similar experiences. Then, I met Jane Rogers. Jane also experienced a disorienting experience in the wake of her husband's death in 2011. She was left not only bereft at his loss but at a loss as to bringing some semblance of order back to her life. Like many couples, her husband had taken control of many domestic maintenances and financial aspects of their life together.
Where were the passwords to the computer, bank accounts, maintenance records, warranties, and a whole raft of things? It was after this, that Jane realized that while we all have plans for beginnings like the birth of our children, school and university, our careers, wedding plans, birthdays . . . hardly anyone makes plans for the endings ― death.
According to recent surveys, 75% of people surveyed agree that end-of-life plans are a good idea, yet only about 25% actually get around to doing anything about them. That's why Jane decided action had to be taken. She founded a community enterprise ― Before I Go Solutions® ― designed to provide the resources, training, and support that people needed to complete their own end-of-life plans.
In 2016, I attended Jane's workshop and subsequently trained with her to become an accredited End-of-Life Planning Facilitator. Today, I'm the Before I Go Solutions® Head Facilitator. I coach our clients using the Before I Go Method, a practical, step-by-step approach to completing their own end-of-life plans. And, more recently, I've also begun working with Jane to train people wanting to become end-of-life planning facilitators like myself.
If you feel ready to complete your own end-of-life plan and maybe even become a facilitator like me, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Williams is also a member of the National Community of Practice for Advance Care Planning Educators.
Accredited Before I Go Solutions® Facilitator
Join Diane DeVivo and Michael Williams for their "Death-Defying Discussions" podcast. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other popular podcasts platforms.
Disclaimer The information in the courses, the website, and any other documentation associated with it is given in good faith and is neither intended to diagnose any physical or mental condition, nor to serve as a substitute for informed medical advice or care. Please contact your health professional for medical advice and treatment relating to end-of-life matters. Neither Michael Williams, Before I Go Solutions® nor Jane Duncan Rogers can be held liable by any person for any loss or damage whatsoever that may arise from the use of this training, the material associated with it, or any of the information therein.