Two people holding hands and holding tea

We’re a nation that likes to avoid the subject, according to new research by Funeralcare.

Death is the most difficult thing to talk about, with 11.5 million Brits saying they regretted not talking to their loved ones about it until it was too late.

We asked colleagues from across the business what they thought:

Jackson Mills

 

“I think it’s important that we’re open about death and it’s not a taboo subject. When my mum was diagnosed with cancer we felt we didn’t want to talk about it, but it helped. When we did it made me feel I knew what I needed to do if that time ever came. It lifted a weight off my shoulders.”
Jackson Mills, Store Manager

 

 

 

John Hush conversation

 

“It’s a seriously good thing for families to talk about death. I used to go to some families’ houses and many were like: ‘I don’t know what my mother wanted’. You do if you have a funeral plan. You know exactly what your mother wanted because it’s there, it’s written down.”
John Hush, a former Funeral director who worked for Funeralcare for 69 years

 

 

 

Rachel copy

“My brother dying at the age of six has meant that death has been a constant in our family’s life. Speaking about Nicky daily has been a great comfort to my parents. It’s also helped me and my sisters talk more openly about the subject and given us a better understanding of how important it is to share your feelings with those around you.”
Rachel Machin, Comms Manager

 

 

 

Charlotte King

“I’m a very open person and I find that talking about uncomfortable topics always helps to take away any awkwardness. People see death as such a scary topic but it can be approached in a light-hearted way. My boyfriend and I have already discussed what song we’d like to play at our funerals!’’ 
Charlotte King, Product Lead

 

 

Presenter Nadia Sawalha with Funeralcare's David Collingwood

Presenter Nadia Sawalha is partnering with the Co-op and encouraging the nation to talk more openly. Here she is with Funeralcare’s David Collingwood

To help people talk more openly about death Funeralcare have put together an online guide

Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Death and bereavement are inevitable, and we all face these times differently, we handle each loss differently each time, and what I have learned personally is that grief can hit you at an unsuspecting time – you think you have dealt with the loss, but something triggers a deep emotion you haven’t expected. People need to be able to talk if they want to. We get scared about asking someone how they are after a bereavement because we don’t know how to answer. There are a growing number of ‘Death Cafe’s’ in various communities that meet regularly and can, for some, be a place to go to find some comfort or gain understanding, or a place where they or their family or friends know they can talk.
    On a practical level, as adults, we can make sure we share arrangements for our funeral, have relevant insurances in place, and appoint an executor and have power of attorney in place. You can do this at any time, when you are well, fit, young etc. Things can always be updated. Talking helps.

    Reply
  2. […] all know how difficult it is to talk about death, with 11.5 million Brits saying they regretted not talking to their loved ones about it until it […]

    Reply
  3. When my dad died 7 years ago it meant we all became more open. My brother was only 4 and was at the funeral and burial. My grandad passed away a few weeks ago and I spoke openly with my 7 year old about death, our beliefs about what happens after death, what might happen when our loved ones die and how we feel. I’ve already made arrangements with my mum and a sibling about caring for my son, I have life insurance in place, and as hard as it was to address, I feel calm now it’s done – the arrangements are there. I’ve thought about the worst that could happen and done whatever I can to minimise the impact of it. I’m a big advocate for open conversations even with children, and as a rule of thumb I think if they’re old enough to ask the question then they’re old enough to get an answer. Its never easy, but if we’re all more open maybe it could get easier?

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Funeralcare and Legal Services, Show you care, The Co-op Way