Death is written into our contract with life from the day we take our first breath, yet dying people and their families can experience a tremendous sense of isolation. They can feel shut out of social circles and distanced from their communities.

Death is written into our contract with life from the day we take our first breath. Dying people and their families can experience a tremendous sense of isolation. They can feel shut out of social circles and distanced from their communities.

A lack of conversation is perhaps the most important reason why peoples’ wishes go ignored or unfulfilled; if we do not know how to communicate what we want, and those around us do not know how to listen, it is almost impossible to express a clear choice.

It has been said that what we fear most about dying is the associated loss of control. By empowering patients to express their wishes, that control can be restored.

Death is something that our culture encourages us to delay, avoid, hide, cheat and deny- though it is present in our daily lives with every experience of loss that we encounter.

Some comforting news is:

Talking about death doesn’t bring it closer.

It turns our grief into something shareable and communal. It doesn’t have to be morbid, it can be cathartic and releasing. Talking about death prepares us, reduces shock and allows us to truly and fully live.

“We live in a very particular death-denying society. We isolate both the dying and the old, and it serves a purpose. They are reminders of our own mortality.”

(Kubler-Ross, 1969)

Thinking and talking about death and understanding how you feel and what you believe, and sharing your wishes with your loved ones can give you peace of mind and allow others to take care of you in accordance to your wishes.

We believe that promoting openness and communication are the first steps to achieving this. We encourage all individuals to commit to supporting changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviour around death and dying, and aim to encourage a greater willingness to engage on death and bereavement issues.

It all starts with understanding our own behaviours, thoughts and feelings about death, dying and bereavement and then talking to the people we love and planning ahead.