[vc_row type=”in_container” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” scene_position=”center” video_image=”3106″ text_color=”dark” text_align=”left”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]While driving to work today the “Blue Oyster Cult” song, Don’t Fear the Reaper came on. Inspiration for my Halloween blog title came to mind! The song is forever associated with the hilarious Saturday Night Live skit — “More Cow Bell”. After getting the scary vision of Will Ferrell’s gut out of my mind, I actually listened to the lyrics. My interpretation of the song is, death is part of life and we should not fear it. The lyrics say Seasons Don’t Fear the Reaper. Autumn is a time of transition. It is a time when we enjoy the leaves in their natural cycle of beauty before they die then fall. Perhaps, that is why National Estate Planning Awareness week is in October. Autumn is often associated as a time of maturity, melancholy, and when people turn inward. It’s a good time for reflection.

I’m reading an amazing book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande. It really resonates with me. I was an oncology rep for 16 years and launched novel medicines that changed the course of treatment for several cancers, which gave patients with metastatic disease more quality time. I am a passionate patient advocate, but began to wonder if I was part of the cure or part of the disease. The book encourages an awareness of our mortality and helping people have a good life all the way to the very end. Instead of a focus on the inevitability of old age and death, perhaps we need an awareness of lush abundance of our life journey — our Harvest.

My thesis project explores this area. Do laws help influence and encourage a positive physician-patient relationship? As Dr. Gawande notes, “It’s a delicate balance of a patient wanting information and control and also needing expertise and guidance.” He shares a personal story of what a hard conversation can do. His story is similar to mine and why I encourage people to take care of their Will and Advanced Directives.

With 70% of Americans not completing their estate plan, we definitely “Need More Cow Bell” when dealing with Being Mortal. I understand why we are a procrastination nation, but hopefully I’ve improved your awareness. Prepare for your life and your death.