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...
For people living with the symptoms of dementia, our deaths will most likely be preceded by a period of rational conversation concerning exactly how we want the moments immediately preceding our last breath to be lived. Questions concerning how we want to maintain some quality, dignity and self-awareness.
My question is why do we have to wait until we are near death for others to become concerned about our thoughts and feelings; about how we want to live our lives? While we are all a day closer to death every day of our lives, people with dementia are treated as if we get closer than others each day. We are fading away, in the midst of the long goodbye, others tell us, sometimes to our faces.
We need to have more than a conversation and a piece of paper about how we want to die, and about how we want to live. The words, "You have dementia probably of this or that type," are not in and of themselves a death sentence. I could die in an accident, of a heart attack, in a terrorist attack way before my time to die indirectly because of my symptoms of dementia.
This is a website of living, right up and through my last breath. Doesn't it matter as much how we live each day of our lives prior to the day we die?
Richard Taylor, Houston Texas
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