This week has marked Dying Matters Week!
Talking about death does not always have to be morbid or avoided. In fact, there are many important topics around death that should be spoken about more often.
It is important that our loved ones know how we would like to go, when the time comes, as well as discussing various scenario’s such as end of life care, DNR’s, wills, funeral arrangements and where we would like to die, should we have that choice.
This year, the theme for Dying Matters Week is ‘Being in a Good Place to Die’ – this could be translated in various different ways. For example, this could be about physical places, such as a hospital, private hospice or in the comfort of your own home… or it could be a good ‘mental’ place, such as being mentally ready to say goodbye, having peace of mind about reaching the end of your life.
Yes, I see how these things may appear to be morbid. But they really do not have to be! Talking about death can be scary, often not for the person who is talking, but for those who have to listen. Nine out of ten times, people do not want to hear their loved ones planning their death, or discussing what they do and do not want if and when the end is near. But these conversations are important; and it is much better to have them early on, rather than losing a loved one and not knowing what they would have wanted.
In regards to being in a good place, mentally, this often comes with closure. So allowing your loved ones to talk about their life and how they wish for things to be towards the end; you are giving them peace and comfort, knowing that their friends and family know what they would want when that time comes.
Sometime people may be able to have a choice in regards to where they spend their final days. Again, this is important to discuss before it is too late. Some may not have a preference, or may not know what they would prefer… this is okay too!
I am 25-years-old and even I have had these sorts of conversations with my fiancé. He hates it when I bring up the subject as he does not want to think about either of us dying when we are so young… but life really is too short, and you never know what could be around the corner.
Also, preferences change! Therefore, having these conversations regularly (whether that be every year or every five years) is also very important.
If your loved ones are really against having these conversations; document your preferences once a year. Put them in an envelope and replace them as and when you have a new thought, or change your mind about something, so that if anything was to happen out of the blue, your friends, family and loved ones would have something to go by in regards to how they approach end of life care, or arranging the funeral.
Do not be scared to talk about death. It is a part of life and it will inevitably happen to each and every one of us… so why not go out in the way that we would wish to do so? Why not plan for it the best that you can? Similar to planning a baby shower, a wedding or a birthday party… it is just as important! You only die once after all!