Starting the conversation about death & dying

This week (May 16th – 22nd) marks the second ‘Dying Matters awareness week’ in the UK. The week aims to put a spotlight on all aspects of death & dying and get people talking about everything from where they want to die to wills, legacies and their funeral arrangements.

Though the events to coincide with the awareness week all take place in the UK the Dying Matters site is worth a visit as its packed with useful resources and conversation starters all aimed at smashing the taboos around death and dying.

The resource material includes ‘Things to do before I die’, leaflets and flyers to get you thinking about how to plan for a good death. There are even specific resource materials for schools and for GP’s.

If that all seems a bit weighty you can start off with the ‘Dying for a laugh’ videos in which comedians share their feelings and experiences about death – they include Ardal O’ Hanlon recalling a uniquely Irish wake experience. For information on attitudes to death and dying in an Irish context have a look at the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Forum on End-of-life website. 

Dying Matters Week UK

This week the UK Dying Matters Coalition will be encouraging people to get vocal about death & dying issues during their dying matters awareness week.

Dying matters is a coalition set up through the UK National Council for Palliative Care which aims to raise awareness,  bring about greater public knowledge and encourage dialogue on death and dying.   

The events during awareness week aim to get the subject of death and dying out into  the public space and encourage people to think about and start communicating their feelings about death, dying and bereavement. The coalition believes that death should not be a conversation killer and that discussing final wishes  and planning for the end empowers the dying and helps those left behind cope with bereavement. Further details of dying matters awareness week can be found HERE  as can a short film depicting the benefit of open communication about death.