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...
I have found that the thought of dying doesn't frighten most people but it's the thought of how they might die.
They want to die pain-free and with dignity and have their loved ones remember them as they are and not as they were!
I have lost several loved ones. My Dad's death, many years ago, was very quick and mercifully pain-free for him - but not for the ones left behind!
In more recent years I have lost both Mum (brain tumour) and then a couple of years later her sister (two strokes, followed by cancer and dementia), who was a very dear Auntie to me. Their first thoughts when they had not long to live and there was no hope for a cure were 'Please don't let me suffer' and 'I don't want to live my life as a vegetable; make them put me to sleep when I don't know who I am anymore.'
Unless you have been through this with a nearest and dearest and listened to their thoughts and fears of dying, or rather how they are going to die, they cannot understand how frightened and out of control and vunerable a person can feel and how helpless their loved ones feel looking on!
I understand that we have to protect our most venerable people in society but what about older people's dignity and freedom of choice?
There must be a way that we can be allowed to die in dignity, when our time comes, if needs be. We can make arrangements for our funeral before we die - how and where: why not when?
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66