Dying Matters is a national awareness week running May 8 to 14, encouraging people of all ages and situations in life to think and talk about dying.
Jo Clarke, Education Lead for Rennie Grove Hospice Care explains: “The fact that we will die is one of the very few certainties in life, but in our society it has become taboo to talk about it. Our role during Dying Matters Week is to show people that it needn’t be a morbid subject. In fact, discussing where you would like to die, should you have the choice, and what you would like to happen afterwards can help you feel more at peace and prepared and it will hugely help those you leave behind too.”
Much of the work carried out by the charity’s nurses and Family Support team aims to support patients and families to talk more openly about death and dying.
“We’re keen to get across that everyone should have these conversations with their loved ones, not just those currently affected by life-limiting illness,” adds Jo.
With this end in mind, clinicians from Rennie Grove will join forces with the local community nurses at St Albans City Hospital on Monday May 8. They will be on hand in the hospital foyer between 9am and 3pm to talk to anyone who would like to strike up the all-important conversation. In addition, Rennie Grove is keen to spread the word further afield and for the first time has produced a short video to raise awareness of the need to talk about death and dying.
The video features various pairs – husbands and wives, sisters, mothers and daughters – discussing questions designed to get them thinking about the end of life if they haven’t already.
Jo explains: “The idea is that their answers – whether or not they have considered issues like funerals, Wills, where they’d like to receive care should they fall ill – will get other people thinking about these things.”
Rennie Grove will be sharing the films across its social media channels from Monday May 8. Join the conversation on social media using #DyingMattersWeek. Follow us on Twitter @renniegrove or like us on Facebook @renniegrovehospicecare to get involved. You can find out more about the work Dying Matters do on their website.