The Huffington Post: It was my father, not I, who initiated the end-of-life “conversation” that would extend over more than two years. It began when he asked me to come over so we could review some “materials” he’d put together. After I sat down at my parents’ dining room table with a cup of coffee, my father came in carrying a black three-ring binder and set it down on the table. My father, schooled in accounting and business administration, was nothing if not organized. Accordingly, what he referred to as (and we in turn came to call it) his “black book” contained a wealth of information and instructions about my parents’ finances, his instructions for his funeral and what I needed to do afterward.