Dying Matters Awareness 10-16 May 2021

Dying Matters Awareness Week 10-16th May 2021 #DMAW21 story on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

EPUT are supporting Dying Matters Awareness Week 2021

More and more people have been dying at home in recent years. COVID-19 has seen this number surge upwards even further, with more than 1,000 extra people dying at home each week. We know very little about these people’s experiences at the end of their lives, nor for those close to them.

There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone. But the pandemic has proven that it is more important than ever for families to think about it, talk about it and to plan for it. It includes discussions about care, making a will, what type of funeral you would want and how you can build memories for those you love.

Dying Matters Awareness Week is a chance for you to join the Dying Matters movement – making sure that more people in the UK are in a good place when they die. Join the Dying Matters movement

If we discuss this with our loved ones at a time we are well and prepare to get our house in order it is more likely preferences and wishes will be supported at the time of our death. Within EPUT we would encourage these sometimes difficult discussions to starting a conversation and share with health and social care professional when receiving care or support from our services. We only get one chance to get it right and together we can work to support this if you have made choices, discussed this and made us aware.

Where people die is changing. More and more people have been dying at home in recent years. And the pandemic has seen this number leap by tens of thousands.

We know that when asked, more than four in five people say they would prefer to die at home. It is important for families to think about it, to talk about it and to plan for it. Planning for death is more important than ever in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has taken so many lives at such short notice, and in circumstances that are beyond our control.

We want people of all ages to be in a good place when they die – physically, emotionally and with the right care in place. Getting there means having some important conversations, and taking some careful decisions. Dying Matters awareness week is about ensuring our communities are prepared to talk and sharing our stories to learn and support one another.

Daily themes

Our 2021 daily themes explore what it means to be in a good place, and how you and your loved ones can plan for the end of life. They are:

  • Physically (place of death, Advance Care Planning)
  • Emotionally (talking about death, making sure loved ones are cared for)
  • Financially (making a will, making funeral plans)
  • Spiritually (How different faith groups talk about and prepare for death)
  • Digitally (Looking at digital assets, social media, online banking)

Have you got a story or experience you would like to share? Tell us, using the email address on the right of this page. Each day throughout the week we will bring elements of these themes into our posts on social media.

When my mum died in 2019, she had prepared us all by discussing all her wishes and preferences. She wrote it all in a book to help us. We didn’t have to keep discussing it but she told us often she wanted her care to be at home, what she wanted to wear when she died and what sort of music she wanted at her funeral. We were able to support her death at home surrounded by friends and family who loved her. It was hard to lose a lady who was loved so very much but she wrote a poem for her funeral and had red pompoms on her coffin, as instructed by her to make the grandchildren laugh! It was so lovely to make sure what she wanted happened and her death and funeral was a coming together of those wishes. It made things easier to know what she wanted and it was about her. During Covid-19, it has made me reflect on those people who have not been as fortunate as me but to ensure people are loved and live on in our memories by the conversations and openness to discuss death makes elements of grief easier. It ensures that the person as an individual is remembered. We are all individuals and death needs to reflect that as it does in life.

Tracy Reed, Clinical Lead, End of Life Care at EPUT

I dreamt that I was young again

I dreamt that I was young again,
Free as a bird on the wings,
The fragrance of the honeysuckle,
The warmth that summer brings.

Did I climb the tallest tree?
Or dance the whole night through,
Was it I in the dream,
Or a child I once knew.

How the summer breeze passes by,
Just a whisper through my hair,
The cool sweet fragrance of flowers,
As the aroma fills the air.

For those golden days again,
When one was young and free,
Where lovers walk hand in hand,
And together with hope they’d be.

But now the time has come,
When dreams have passed me by,
My children they can live this dream,
Under summers fragrant sky,
While I sleep my sleep,
But I will never say goodbye.

By Vivienne Lett