Ask A Celebrant: Let’s Talk about Death and Dying
Ask a Celebrant is an unscripted, conversational monthly podcast.
Talking about death, the approach of death; your wishes for where and how your die; and the effect of those on your loved ones; and how to support those grieving are not the usual topics of discussion over a coffee or around a dinner table. But we say, as its 100% certain that we will all face this situation, that it’s time we spoke more openly our wishes and fears.
“When we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind”
For example, how often do those who are grieving get confronted with the comment “isn’t it time you moved on?” How often does the rest of the world ‘get back to normal’ whilst those navigating their grief are still only taking the first steps along a very winding path?
How many of you have avoided talking to someone who has just lost someone, because you don’t know what to say? How many of you have crossed the road to avoid someone who has just received some tragic news about their own health because they might cry or shout?
How many of you have a written quality of life statement, death wishes document or any directives in place such as DNR (do not resuscitate) or ADTRT (advanced Directive to refuse treatment)? If you have, does someone know where these are?
We need to learn how to talk to and support others in their grief.
We also need to talk about how we would like to be helped and supported by others.
As a trained End-of-Life Doula, I provide non-medical, physical, emotional and spiritual care and support to individuals and families dealing with dying. I have also created a packages of services to facilitate conversations and create documentation to prepare for and support you and your family through your own dying, death and farewell planning services.
There are also lots of nationwide services available to support this. Most area have a Community Coordinator who can signpost you; and there are initiatives such as Dying Matters, Compassion in Dying; Death Cafes, The Natural Death Society, Coffing Clubs.
Don’t leave planning until it is too late. None of us like to consider our own death, but articulating how we would like to be treated and discussing our wishes with our families are good ways of ensuring we have the best death we can, and that those caring for us know they are doing what we would want.
For more on this subject go to our podcast, Ask a Celebrant Episode 6