Final Conversations from the Millennial Generation
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This thesis aims to collect final conversations between millennials and their loved ones and discern the common themes that arise. Although much research has been done on final conversations (FC), millennials’ communication at the end of life has yet to be explored. Millennials are a unique generation in that they have grown up with social media, and with it, access to communication with people around the world at their fingertips. They may have never had to say goodbye to someone because they will always have the ability to begin a conversation on online social media, through text, or through phone call. With that being said, when they have never had to have a FC with childhood friend that moved, a millennial saying goodbye to a dying loved one may be one of the first instances of a goodbye with a permanent communicative end. This study used a qualitative approach to research and utilized a standard, open- ended interview process to provide structure but allow for participants to supply unique answers. Nine millennials were interviewed about their last conversations with a terminal loved one and the interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. From this data, five common themes emerged between the Living and the Dying including: love, avoidance, messages about the past/future, everyday talk, and helping tasks. Studying the FC of millennials is important because their generation sees the world from its own unique perspective, and the best way to relate to a millennial engaging in FC is by providing examples of millennials whom have already engaged in FC in order to properly guide them.