Dying Matters Week, from Hospice UK, is a national week held every year in May. Its aim is to encourage us all to be more open to having conversations around dying, death and bereavement.
This year, during the Covid-19 outbreak, we’ve probably all thought a lot more about death and dying than we would normally. Speaking those thoughts out loud isn’t always easy, as we don’t want to upset people or sound gloomy. But, if you can have that chat with family and friends, it can make things much easier in the long run for everyone.
In fact, families often report that it comes as a relief once these subjects are brought out into the open. You, or your loved one, can express wishes about how you’d like to be looked after, and what you’d like to happen after you die, whether it’s what you’d like to happen to your possessions, or at your funeral. This can often bring great peace of mind for the future. We’ve put together some suggestions for how you might start to have these conversations, and some ideas that you might like to think about.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and all our experiences are unique
Grief is another topic that many of us might feel uncomfortable talking about, or simply feel that we ‘don’t know what to say’. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and all our experiences are unique. We have compiled some suggestions that might help you if you are grieving, as well as some ideas about how to support someone else who is bereaved.
Of course, in the current situation, not being present when a friend or relative dies, perhaps not having the opportunity to say ‘goodbye’, or being unable to attend a funeral or memorial service, can make grief more complicated to navigate. Saying ‘goodbye’ matters, and we have written some suggestions and links to further information which we hope you find useful, this Dying Matters Week.
At the moment, we’ve probably all thought a lot more about death and dying than we would normally. Having those conversations out loud isn’t always easy, but, if you can have that chat with family and friends, it can make things much easier in the long run for everyone.
To mark national Dying Matters Week, on social media we’re sharing five tips on how to try and start having those conversations. These will also be available in our resources section.