Are you in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and digitally?
I believe the only way that we can really be in a good place for any of these, is by talking. Talking to our family, friends and loved ones. Having a conversation with them about what we would want and what we wouldn’t want. Talking with professionals and service providers to gain an understanding of options available to us, can lead to enabling us to make our wishes become a reality.
It is my pleasure you are here now, reading my blog. My name is Yvonne Oakes, I am a Soul Midwife and retired palliative care nurse, and as someone who has experience of loved ones deaths, I care deeply about helping people to have these conversations.
This week is Dying Matters Awareness week. The theme this year is ‘Are you in a good place to die – physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually and digitally’.
Talking gives us a chance to consider these things meaningfully and enables us to explore the choices available to us and to be creative. It gives us some control. It alleviates some difficult and possibly conflicting decisions for our family after our death.
Many people are hesitant to talk about death, fearful that it will cause death to happen. This simply isn’t the case, and leaving the conversation until we or our loved ones are faced with a life threatening/life limiting or terminal illness is so much more difficult as it is then laden with so much more emotion. And so the conversation may not happen at all, as individuals (the person who is ill and the relatives) struggle to protect each other. Choices and opportunities are then lost.
Facing, acknowledging and accepting our mortality is difficult, and difficult to share with others. However, discussing it with family, friends and even strangers can, in a way make us more appreciative of life and living. Knowing it is finite can help us make the most of every day. Help us to not leave things until tomorrow, next week, next year. Help us to realise who and what really matters to us.
Death is a natural part of life and life is a part of death, we can’t have one without the other. For this reason I hold Death Café-type meetings, where people come together to talk about death and dying. They provide a place to share experiences, ideas, information, worries or concerns – or simply a place to just come along to and listen and of course drink tea and eat cake.