Conversations about thinking ahead are something we would like to encourage in every household in Ireland. Especially when death and illness feel closer to us, and we are thinking about it more often. We hope it won’t happen to us, or those we love. Yet, the experiences of illness, dying, and death are all around us. At any time, any of us, our families or friends could be touched by dying, death and bereavement. Dying and death are something that happens. It’s in everybody’s interest to decide now for their future.
Share your wishes while there is still time to talk about them together before there is a crisis or problem. Seize the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings, make plans and decisions.
We may not always have the chance to say the things we want to say, and the last thing we want to do is upset someone close to us, but, if we can talk together, to support one another, it can make a great difference to how we cope.
It can help to:
- acknowledge that dying and death are part of life.
- recognise that talking about death doesn’t bring it closer, but it can help us plan for life.
- choose the right time and place to talk, especially if you, a family member, or a friend, are ill or have experienced bereavement.
There are reports and stories about death and dying every day on TV, on the radio and in the newspapers. Use these to help start conversations with family and friends. Look for signs that someone you’re close to may want to talk. Remember, if the conversation becomes emotional, we can support each other best when we share what we are thinking and feeling.
We can’t always promise one another that everything will be fine. Through listening and sharing what’s happening, we can give reassurance that we’ll offer the best care and support we can. Sharing concerns, worries, and fears can help us find ways of coping and make things more manageable.
Talking about things we find difficult doesn’t make them happen, nor will it make them go away. But we can find ways of coping together.
Conversations Over a Cuppa
We have developed a series of guides to help you have conversations with those people important to you. Whether it is you, someone you love, or someone you know who wants to talk about the future – these little guides might help.