There are a number of different organisations that are involved in this subject of talking about dying. We live in a death phobic society, we rarely see real dead bodies, just fake ones in movies. When a neighbour dies, they are not laid out in the dining room for the neighbourhood to come and pay their respects or anything like that anymore! We avoid using the word “death”, there are lots of other sayings: “fallen off their perch”, “gone to the other side”, “passed on” etc.
And yet, this is something that eventually we will all do, yet we don’t talk about it much. Lots of families find this a very difficult and uncomfortable conversation, but often once that first barrier is broken, of starting the conversation, the whole thing becomes much easier.
It is entirely understandable that people want to focus on living and therefore want to talk about living, about the exciting things they want to do with their life, the place they want to go on holiday this year or just what’s for dinner! But it is still worth having a conversation, perhaps once a year or every other year about what you want to happen as you are dying and after you have died.
What sort of end of life treatment do you want? Who will make those end of life decisions if you can’t? What do you want to happen if you have a 50% chance of survival? But what about a 70% survival chance or a 10% chance. And what does “survival” really mean? What is it about your life and lifestyle that is important to you?
And once you have died, what sort of funeral do you want? Who do you want to be there? Do any of these decisions matter or do you want your family to make some or all these decisions? Is your family going to hold a wake, should there be a theme? How do you want to be remembered?
In legal terms, this also leads into the making of a Will, which I have blogged about before.
Your family will be sad that you have died (hopefully) and one of the important ways that they are comforted in their grieving process is to be able to fulfil your wishes. They can only do that if they know what your wishes are. And they will only know what your wishes are if you have had a #BigConversation with them!