Why Dying Matters Awareness Week marks a time to talk for us all

* image via dyingmatters.org

It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week — a chance to talk about death and our end-of-life choices.

Many of us don’t have an open discussion with our families about our funeral wishes.

Indeed, recent research by Humanists UK found that 20 per cent of people were left feeling unsure if the funeral was what their loved one would have wanted.

Dying Matters, which runs the week as a public campaign and is part of the charity Hospice UK, found:

  • fewer than one in ten (8%) have put in place medical and/or emotional support for the end of their lives (dropping to 6% among over-55s)
  • just three in ten (31%) adults know how to make arrangements to ensure they die in the place they would wish to

We need to break that taboo and open up the discussion around dying.

After all, most of us would agree the most important element of a funeral is to honour the life and wishes of the person who has died.

In my work as a civil celebrant, I put the life we are celebrating at the forefront of the whole ceremony.

That’s why, family members often tell me afterwards that the service I led did them proud.

Covid-19 has forced death into the public consciousness yet many people remain unaware of the support available to them to plan for a good death.

It’s time to talk.

Read more about Dying Awareness Week via Dying Matters.

Read more about the Dying Wishes campaign by Humanists UK.

Liked this? Read also: Bereavement in the new normal: life after Covid for Saga Magazine.

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