It’s easy enough to observe that we’re not comfortable in our culture talking about death and dying, let alone preparing for it. In fact we are not that good at helping others through it, or coming to terms with many of the decisions and choices (and losses) we and others may face along the way.
By avoiding it, we often compound the suffering and extend the grief that is likely to be a natural part of the experience.
Fortunately, there is a growing interest in conversations around death, with a growing body of ‘death literacy’ material available, and guidance towards having discussions with our loved ones (and often with ourselves!) that can clarify wishes, and ease the way somewhat.
There are also practical issues, tools and choices that we can benefit greatly from by dealing with death in our own time, before circumstances force our hand.
People talk about hoping for ‘a good death’ for themselves or loved ones: what this means varies from person to person. How can we influence, or not, the course of our own or another’s dying experience?
- What are the conversations it could serve us to have?
- What could we do in advance that is helpful?
- What choices might we not even know are available?
- How might we want to mark or mourn the dying and/or celebrate the life of someone important to us?
Without belittling in any way the depth of meaning we feel around death, Sue can talk us through these and other issues that may free us from some unnecessary suffering, ease our fears a little, and enhance the comfort of sharing of our mutual humanity that dealing together with death and dying can evoke.