Let’s talk about it.
We want to talk about something which a lot of people might not want to think or chat about. Death.
Although the subject of death and dying is still one of the biggest taboos, it is still an important conversation to have with your loved ones.
Dying Matters (8 – 14 May 2023) is an annual national campaign by Hospice UK with the goal of creating an open culture in which it is okay and acceptable to talk about death, dying and grief.
Here’s why our funeral care providers, De Gruchy and Argent are keen supporters of this taboo-busting awareness week.
Just dying to talk about it
It’s perfectly normal to feel uneasy or apprehensive around talking about death or dying.
It’s not something we want to think about. Yet, this could be the very thing which is strengthening the stigma around dying, which is why campaigns like Dying Matters awareness week are so vital to the cause.
According to charity AgeUK, over a third (36%) of people aren’t comfortable bringing the subject up with a relative or close friend and 40% don’t know their loved ones wishes around dying (such as what their preferred type of burial might be).*
This is why your local Coop funeral care providers encourage islanders to have these conversations during Dying Matters awareness week to help ease tensions and unnecessary worries around end of life.
But rather than have a full-on in-depth discussion about dying, it might feel easier to approach the subject less formally.
For instance, you might hear a song and say in passing to a loved one: ‘I would love for this to be played at my funeral.’ Or, you might wish to complete an expression of wishes form and talk through with them your decisions.
Either way, there is no right or wrong way to start the conversation.
Make your wishes a reality
For people unfamiliar with an expression of wishes, it is simply a document (sometimes a form, or even just a letter) which outlines your wishes for what you would like to happen after your death.
This often covers topics such as, what you would like to happen to your body (e.g. organ donation), plans for your funeral, what should happen with any donations and possessions, and other final wishes.
Unlike a will, it does not have to be a formal document. It can be as detailed or as brief as you wish – as long as it outlines your wishes and is signed by you to show its authenticity.
Both De Gruchy and Argent funeral care have a simple, downloadable expression of wishes form which can provide a useful starting point in outlining your final requests.
Once you’ve completed your expression of wishes, you need to keep this somewhere safe. Both Argent and De Gruchy’s funeral care are happy to confidentially store these for you. You can also let family and/or next of kin know where to find the expression of wishes when needed.
“I won’t be here, so it won’t matter."
It might seem like a flippant, non-committal comment, but the statement above is one of the key reasons why your Channel Islands Coop funeral care encourages you to have those difficult conversations now.
While it may not seem like a positive thing, there are lots of valid reasons why it is good to talk about death, such as:
It communicates your plans and helps you to enjoy life now without worrying about what might be ahead. You may wish to make a will or probate, but even a simple expression of wishes can make a real difference.
Many funeral care providers offer pre-paid funeral plans which mean that the rising cost of funerals is one less thing to be concerned about.
Losing a loved one is never easy. Amidst the feelings of grief and loss, family and friends might also be trying to figure out what you would have wanted for your final farewell. Pre-planning takes away this stress for your loved ones.
By talking about death and dying, you’re helping to remove the stigma that can cause anxiety and pain for many. The more you talk about it, the easier it becomes.
Want to find out more?
Whether you would like to discuss your own (or a loved ones) final wishes, or just want to have an informal chat about how they can help and support you at your time of need, our teams are always available, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
Courtesy of Hospice UK. Registered in England and Wales No. 2751549.
Hospice UK leads the Dying Matters Coalition.