Remembering Kate Granger
The death of someone you know is dying still comes as a shock, and with great sadness. Even when we know death is near, we hope against hope for a little longer.
The death of Kate Granger is a sad day for us all. She was a great friend to and supporter of Dying Matters, and we are pleased that we were able to have been of some help to her and her husband Chris Pointon as well. She spoke at a number of events organised by Dying Matters and the National Council for Palliative Care, our lead charity. We were delighted when she agreed to give our Dying Matters Awareness Week lecture in 2014; her brave honest and outspoken attitude in the face of her own death did a lot to help people understand what Dying Matters is about. When we discussed her lecture with her, none of us could be sure that she would still be alive to give it, and so we made this film, Kate’s Story, with her and Chris. She lived for more than two years after the film was made, and achieved a huge amount in that time, touching the lives and work of many people.
Talking about death won’t make it happen, but trying to avoid it makes it harder to deal with. A terminally ill person is, most of all, still a person, with needs, wishes, emotions, fears and passions. Kate’s #hellomynameis campaign, which asked healthcare staff to introduce themselves to the people they are caring for, reminded everyone that a dying patient is not a symptom, or a chart, or a problem that can’t be solved, but a person.
Kate gave so much to so many people both in her medical career and her personal life. She will be sorely missed by those who met her and many who didn’t. We send our deepest condolences to Chris, and all of Kate’s family, friends and those who loved her. They have to bear a great loss. It may be of some comfort that her campaigns and ideas will last a long time, and improve the lives of many other people.
Photo by Paul Clarke, used under Creative Commons 2.0 License