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 darling son Gareth was diagnosed in 2005 aged 24 with a brain tumour (glioblastoma). Gareth had two lots of brain surgery chemo, and radiotherapy.
We hoped and Gareth said he would beat it, however, as his condition deteriorated the time came: do we tell him or do we not? You always want to protect your child. It was decided by his dad, me and Gareth's two sisters to break the news to him; however, we didn't have to - Gareth told us.
After a lot of heartbreak and sitting up all night, Gareth was finally in control of something - his funeral. He wanted to see the vicar and the funeral director. He chose all his songs along with our clothes and what he wanted to wear.
He planned his death to the finest detail, even what we should do after he had died. Gareth sadly passed away peacefully at home on 8th September 2006 surrounded by his devoted family.
What happened next will scar me forever. My house was treated like a crime scene. The police came and I knew they would but they wanted to take my boy to the mortuary - I had promised him 'no more hospitals, son'.
It was an expected death but due to it happening on a Friday night the out of hours team came.
Our plans we had made with Gareth for after he had died were to light candles and listen to Madonna music.
None of this happened.
A good death should mean a good death! Even for the ones left behind.
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