Please see below videos and resources that were featured as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week.
For more information and resources for Dying Matters visit: dyingmatters.org
Why we need to talk more about death and dying Talking about death doesn’t bring death closer. It’s about planning for life, helping us make the most of the time that we have. However, starting the conversation, particularly with those close to you, is never easy. We don’t want to upset people, or sound gloomy. Still, families commonly report that it comes as a relief once the subject is brought out into the open. You are able to express your wishes about how you’d like to die, or what you’d like to happen after you die.
I Didn't Want That - Dying Matters
What does it mean to be #InAGoodPlace to die? Dying Matters Awareness Week 2021
Ellie's story - #InAGoodPlace to die
David's story - #InAGoodPlace to die
“Just how talking about sex won't make you pregnant,
talking about death won't make you dead." - Jon Underwood
Talking about dying, and how we would like that experience to be, can be very uncomfortable for people, but this year’s Dying Matters Week wants to focus on those conversations.
Between May 10 and 16 people are being encouraged to talk to their loved ones about what they would – and wouldn’t – like that experience to be like.
Dr Deb Lee from NHS North Cumbria CCG is leading work with the Bereavement Support Partnership in Cumbria. She said: “Covid has been a very difficult time especially for anyone who has lost someone in this period. The way we spend time with people who are dying has had to be different because of the need to follow infection prevention guidelines. The grieving process has been more difficult with the limit on the number of people gathering, funerals and goodbyes have felt very different. We haven’t been able to meet and hug in the way we could have done in the past.
“There has been a huge amount of work and some funding from our health and care organisations to help groups that support people experiencing grief, manage these challenges and support people here in safe ways.
“But one thing we can all do is talk about death openly and normally with our family and friends.”
Miriam Baird from NHS Morecambe Bay CCG said: “Death is the one thing we all go through. We are happy to spend time planning for things like the annual holiday, weddings, maternity and retirement yet we are not comfortable in planning what we want at the end of our life and most people only think about death and dying when they are at crisis point or even worse families and friends are left not knowing their loved one wishes. I know when my dad died we were arranging his cremation and only because we located his will, found out he wanted to be buried.
“Recently Prince Philip showed us how talking to his family and pre-planning his funeral meant that it was about him and how he lived and not just what the family thought he might have wanted.”
People are being urged to tell three people what they would like to happen when they die. #Tell3People2021
Val Ayre public health locality manager for Cumbria County Council for Allerdale is working with Cockermouth and Maryport Integrated Care Community to help make those conversations more normal.
She said: “Being in a good place to die is this year’s theme and we know how important it is not only for each of us but also for those loved ones we leave behind. The last thing when somebody has died is to then think how do I do this or that, and what did they want at their funeral.
“The pandemic has proven that it is more important than ever for families to think about, talk about and plan for being in a good place to die which is why we are asking everybody to make plans at a much younger age so we can ensure all of our wishes are known but also our loved ones aren’t left with the ‘what did they want’ or how do we access the bank account online etc. Talking is good for our mental health and putting plans in place can be very comforting for all concerned.
“We’re all convinced nobody else wants to talk about death, or that it’s a grim topic, but once you start you’d be amazed how many people want to join in.”
The hospice movement deals with these issues all the time and we have several excellent hospice providers in Cumbria. This includes Hospice at Home West Cumbria which can provide emotional support to patients, families and carers living with a palliative or life limiting illness.
Bereavement support is also available through one-to-one and group therapy sessions.
Their team can also signpost to other organisations that offer help. For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or check out: https://bit.ly/2R4w4qW