The People’s Charter on Death, Dying and Bereavment
There will come a time in our life when we will need care through illness, at the end of life and in bereavement. In 2016, we asked almost 3,000 people in Ireland what is needed for a good death and healthy grieving. The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement is the result. The results tell us there is a real appetite to embrace conversations and equip the Irish people with the language, tools and opportunities to open up and feel safe to share their thoughts and concerns about dying, death and bereavement.
Here is what some of them said:
“We don’t talk about death enough. People should encourage each other to share their wishes and perhaps put them in writing too’
“I think the charter is a very sensible and caring idea. Society needs to talk about such issues more openly’.
“The Charter is very necessary and will help create discussions about death and dying. When my parents were dying we all knew but it was never named. I wish I could have told them many things before they died. But it was not encouraged.’
“I should like to promote more discussion about living and dying in general, we seem to know more about whose going to play for Ireland in the next match than we do about what to do when we get news that some loved one is terminally ill. We have endless discussions about team strategy for instance rather than coping strategies around illness and death’
Embed People’s Charter PDF
What we are doing with the Charter
We use the Charter to inform all the work we do. We want to help the people of Ireland, become more used to talking and thinking about dying, death and bereavement; help find the right words, Think Ahead and provide tools and information to help, inform and guide.
You can help too by;
- Being Death Literate
It’s important to use the right words when talking about dying, death and bereavement. Using the right words means there is no confusion over what has been said, especially when we are talking with children. There is no easy way to talk about death, so it is simpler to just say; ‘They are dead’, ‘They died’, ‘They are dying’. Although we cannot soften death we can get involved in positive conversations, rituals and actions to help and support each other through difficult times.
- Talk to those important to you before it is too late.
Talking won’t take away our problems but the old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is often true. We want to encourage people to talk to one another before it becomes too difficult. We want you to be able to use your voice, your thoughts and understand that they matter. Our Think Ahead form is very useful for starting a conversation.
- Host a workshop in your community or become a Think Ahead Community Champion. For more information please email [email protected].