How to start a conversation with your family about death & dying

We all find it difficult to have conversations with people about death and dying. We avoid the difficult emotions it evokes. Yet we will all experience the death of someone close at some point in our lives and talking about it more openly can make it seem less scary. Being able to talk gives us the opportunity to share any worries and fears and the chance to share our wishes with our family while we are still well.

This link explains why we should be encouraged to talk about death and dying.

Dying Matters Week is a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement.

We host evenings at Cannock Chase Crematorium aimed at helping you start that conversation.

Let’s start a conversation about …. Death & dying

Practical Planning for End of Life

The first few days after the death of a family member are distressing and confusing. People are expected to plan a funeral while being overwhelmed with grief and stress. Imagine if you could alleviate the burden that will fall to your family and plan ahead, writing down all your wishes. It is a gift of love that brings peace of mind.

Our Practical Planning for End of Life helps people wishing to put their affairs in order and plan what they want to happen at the end of their life.

Practical Planning for End of Life

What to do when someone dies

The grief we experience when someone close dies is overwhelming. We are so ill equipped to cope with the practicalities of what to do next and the stress can make you feel completely lost. The steps below outline the main areas you’ll need to consider covering the day your loved one passes away to the day the estate administration is completed.

Making the funeral arrangements

When someone we know dies there are so many decisions to be made at what is a very stressful and challenging time. These links will give you the information you need to get started on arranging a funeral. They outline the choices available to you which will help you make the best decisions for your personal circumstances.

Coping with Grief

Grief is a natural response to loss. Often the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt and profound sadness. The pain of grief can disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep and eat. These are normal reactions to loss.

Coping with the loss of someone is one of life’s biggest challenges, but there are so many people ready to help.

The NHS have complied a helpful Bereavement & Grief self-help guide

Grief – Directory of Services

24-hour help lines

Samaritans                                          116 123 (UK)      for anyone at anytime for any reason

Childline                                               0800 1111            support for 18 years & under, and their relatives

Silverline                                              0800 470 8090 support for the over 50’s

Day/Evening Support Lines

Sudden Bereavement Helpline   0800 2600 400   10am – 4pm Monday to Friday, immediate support

National Bereavement Partnership helpline 0800 448 080              7am to 10pm for emotional support

Cruse                                                    0808 808 1677   Nationwide bereavement support

Child Bereavement UK                  0800 02 888 40  9am to 5pm helpline

Child Death Helpline                       0800 282 986     Every evening 7pm -10pm

Mon, Thurs, Fri 10am – 1pm

Tues, Weds 10am – 4pm

Grief Talk Helpline                           0808 802 0111   Weekdays 9am to 9pm

Bereavement Advice Centre

The Good Grief Trust            

DrugFAM, for families affected by addiction         0300 888 3853 9am – 9pm 7 days a week                                                                                                  

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide       0300 111 5065

SANDS, for anyone affected by the death of a baby           0808 164 3332

The Compassionate Friends, supporting bereaved parents & their families 0345 123 2304

Combatting Loneliness

One of the most difficult parts of bereavement can be the feelings of loneliness that come with it. You are not alone, there are other people who are experiencing the same feelings and thoughts.

There are many groups where like-minded people meet either with a shared experience or a shared interest. You will receive a warm welcome from them all.

Helping others with grief

Death and loss can be difficult to talk about and many people struggle to know what to say when trying to support someone who has been bereaved, even if they are a close family member or a good friend. You may want to help but worry about saying ‘the wrong thing’.

Here are some ideas of how you might be able to support someone after a bereavement.

Supporting bereaved children

Children and young people grieve as much as adults, but they show it in different ways. They learn how to grieve by copying the responses of the adults around them and rely on adults to provide them with the support they need in their grief. When you are grieving yourself, it can be so difficult to find the strength and understanding to support someone else. There are so many wonderful organisations here to help you.

Become a Compassionate Employer

In the last five years we know that roughly 57% of employees will have experienced bereavement in the workplace. Yet only 17% of managers feel confident supporting someone who reports to them if they had experienced a bereavement. 77% of 18–34-year-olds would consider leaving their job if they didn’t get proper support when bereaved at work.

Hospice UK has developed a workplace bereavement support training programme to help support their staff support a grieving colleague.