‘Dying to be Heard’
13 May 2020 by Carlie Brown
Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from 11th to 17th May and encourages people to talk about death. The theme for this year’s’ Dying Matters Campaign is ‘Dying to be Heard’ and focuses on how to help by listening. Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, there are additional deaths and more people will need help with planning, coping, grieving, and remembering.
The campaign aims to encourage people to become more comfortable talking about death and grief, and to sort out the practical issues about their own death: funeral plans, wills, organ donation, and end of life care. Above all, it wants people to discuss and share these plans so that the right information is available at the right time.
Even more so than ever, there are people who need to talk and are dying to be heard. We often want to offer support to someone we know when they have lost someone close to them and it can be difficult to know what to say or do. This often leads to us saying nothing, something careless or even avoiding the person altogether. Even if it looks like a person is coping it’s not always the case and support should always be there for them.
By having a plan in place it makes it easier for you and your loved ones when you are dying. Things that you can organise are your Will, funeral plan and arrangements, future care, and support that you want and organ donation. By organising the above it can make our last days easier for us and the time after our death easier for our family and friends. Most importantly ensure you talk about your plans with your loved ones. This will make it easier for your loved ones to cope better both emotionally and practically after your death.
When supporting someone who has lost a loved one it’s better to acknowledge loss rather than ignore it. You can look for invitations to talk from the other person and encourage them to talk even if it seems to make them upset. Try and be comforting when opening up the conversation and create an environment where the person has the freedom to talk or not talk according to what they want. Just by being with the person will be a comfort to them and may encourage them to talk, you could ask them questions or simply just listen to them. Continue to check in with the person even more so after the funeral as these can be the most difficult and loneliest times. Invite them to join in social activities and even if they decline continue asking them as at some point they may accept and will be grateful of the invite.
Birthdays, anniversaries of a death, Christmas and New Year will always be a difficult time, try to remember to send a card or make a call to them. Keep the memory of the person alive and always talk about them as it can be painful when people act as if they have never existed.
Dying Matters is run by national hospice and palliative care charity Hospice UK, and brings together a broad coalition of organisations related to dying and bereavement, such as hospices, solicitors, funeral directors, and grief support services.
If I or a colleague can assist you with the planning of your affairs then please feel free to contact us on 01206 700113 or email [email protected]