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...
At 69 years old my father died. I was 27 years old and scared. Scared of the GP, scared of the district nurse, scared of my mother's grief and scared of my father's pain. And he was in pain and distressed and none of the family spoke about him as we watched this gasping, wretched man lying in a bed in the corner of our sitting room. And even now, 30 years later, I know now what I knew then. My father had a bad death.
Move forward 15 years and my mother is in the final stages of her life. Alzheimer's disease showed no mercy and with a bewildering, relentless intensity slowly deprived us of a much loved parent. Only this death is different. No longer cowed by doctors and officialdom, my siblings and I take over her room. We chat, we laugh, we cry, we remember, we sup on fish and chips, we quaff sherry, we give mother sips of Emva Cream and we wait.
And as she lies in her bed, washed, cuddled, caressed and kissed by us, we all know that, for this parent, we did it right.
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