Dying Matters Awareness Week - How to talk about death

The week from 09 - 15 May 2016 is Dying Matters Awareness Week. The organisation wants to raise awareness about the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement and, of course, planning ahead.

You may feel hesitant to talk about dying, but not having a conversation about dying and your wishes won't make it go away - a reliable statistic states that 100% of us will die. Talking about it won't make it happen any sooner! 

How do you start the conversation?

You don't have to be ill or elderly to start the conversation - in fact it can be a lot easier, as it can be a more "matter of fact" conversation. 

Often, people find it easier to identify the things they DON'T want instead of what they do want. So start with that. In all likelihood, once you start talking about death, you will feel relieved that you did. Humour also helps - it doesn't have to be an all-out sombre discussion. 

Thinking about your wishes after your death is an important thing to do before making a will, at which point you will need to have an idea of what you want to leave to whom, how your funeral should be conducted, whether you would like to donate your organs and many more. 

If you're still finding it difficult, you can check out these events and websites that facilitate talking about death: 

  • Death Cafe - have coffee and cake while talking about death. They are group led informal discussions and there is space to ask questions and explore the topic in more detail.
  • Death over Dinner - although this is set up for Americans, it works just as well. The website helps you to organise a dinner and have "the big conversation". There are useful articles, videos and audio to research and prepare you for your dinner. 

If you're clear about your wishes, get in touch with Prepare Wills to write your will and arrange a funeral plan.