Why talk about it?

Talking about death doesn't bring death closer. It's about planning for life. Without communication and understanding, death and terminal illness can be a lonely and stressful experience, both for the person who is dying and for their friends and family.

Dying people and their families can experience a tremendous sense of isolation. They can feel shut out of social circles and distanced from their communities.

A lack of conversation is perhaps the most important reason why peoples’ wishes go ignored or unfulfilled; if we do not know how to communicate what we want, and those around us do not know how to listen, it is almost impossible to express a clear choice.

It has been said that what we fear most about dying is the associated loss of control. By empowering patients to express their wishes, that control can be restored.

The Dying Matters Coalition believes that promoting openness and communication are the first steps to achieving this. We are committed to supporting changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviour around death and dying, and aim to encourage a greater willingness to engage on death and bereavement issues.

Key Facts

  • 81% of people have not written down any preferences around their own death, and only a quarter of men (25%) and just over one in three women (35%) across England have told anyone about the funeral arrangements they would like to have after they die.
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) of us would prefer to die at home, yet of the 500,000 people who die each year in England, 53% die in hospital.
  • Nearly two-thirds of people (60%) have not written a will – including a quarter (25%) of over-65s.

Share Your Story

Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...

Share Your Story

What's on

Funeral-themed cakes

Be inspired and informed at events about dying, death and bereavement during Awareness Week

What's on near you

Poll

Which of the following would you consider most important if you were in the last stages of a terminal illness?