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Just 31% ‘Comfortable’ With Talking About Death

There are certain subjects that people will always try and steer clear of if possible, whether it’s a health issue, finances, relationship dissolution or death… but hiding your head in the sand where the practicalities of life are concerned won’t help either, so if you can do your best to have the difficult conversations with friends and family when necessary.

New research from Co-op has found that just 31 per cent of us feel comfortable with talking about death, with 66 per cent admitting that they believe it needs to be normalised as a topic of conversation.

The average Brit will experience their first loss at the age of 21. Of those asked, 41 per cent said they felt unable to talk about their emotions or express them at the time of this loss. Some 53 per cent said that more open conversations on this kind of topic would have helped them cope with losing a loved one.

Although 94 per cent of people have experience of bereavement and grief, we’re still uncomfortable talking about it, so it would seem. Some 22 per cent say they’ve kept quiet during conversations on certain topics, while 13 per cent admitted that they actively change the subject when the topics crop up.

“We know that talking about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have. It’s a huge national issue and that’s why we’re encouraging the nation to get talking about this important subject, as a huge number of us believe the way we approach it needs to change. If we had more open conversations about this topic, just think of the positive outcomes that could be achieved.

“Making arrangements for a loved one’s funeral is a huge responsibility, with everyone having their own personal wishes. No-one likes to think about their own mortality, but having a discussion and planning ahead can have huge benefits in terms of being able to do the right thing for loved ones when the time comes,” managing director of Co-op Funeralcare and Later Life Planning Robert MacLachlan commented.

The company has just launched its biggest survey into death, dying and bereavement as a way of tackling the taboo that appears to exist around this subject and uncover just what it is that’s stopping us all from talking about what are very important topics.

It isn’t easy to know how to talk about death. Fear, embarrassment and awkwardness often mean that we shy away from such discussions, but this means we’re unable to connect properly with those closest to us – at times when they may need us the most. Starting the conversation may be the hardest part, however – so if you do want to broach the subject with someone you love, perhaps begin by asking them who they’d like you to contact if they fell seriously ill.

Talking to nursing staff at hospitals, in a care home or in a hospice can also help as they deal with this on a daily basis and can give you lots of help and advice.

For help with funeral announcements, get in touch with us today.

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