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...
My family joke about death. Thirty years ago, aged 50, I had a major coronary. I was told I had lost a third of my heart and that I would have to take life easy.
I have not.
I continued working. At the age of 64 I sailed my yacht to St Petersburg, a four-month, 4,000 miles cruise through 13 countries. A third of this was done single-handed.
I have now had numerous coronaries (I think about ten), three mini-strokes, pulmonary embolism and been resuscitated numerous times, possibly as many as 15.
Eight years ago during an angiogram my heart stopped. Much to the doctor's consternation, I continued to talk to him. I was still conscious when the crash team put the paddles on me and hit the button. Quite a shock! Minor attacks I have sat out at home; the hospital have told me about them later at my CDI checks.
Now 80, I still ride a motorbike, do several hours continuous kayaking etc. I live on my own and have had to come off medication because of side-effects.
Recently I bought a coffin online, which is now upstairs ready for me. It was a superb bargain which will save the family having to buy one, and the longer I live, the better bargain it will prove.
Live life to the full without fear, you will live longer. Treat death as inevitable when your time is up, but do not fear it.
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