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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Anne

Why we need to break the great Taboo – Talking about death with Celebrant Beverley Anne

In support of Dying matters week; May 2nd - May 6th 2022

Why do we so dislike talking about death?

Well, partly because we find it distressing to accept that we will no longer be here amongst our loved ones and what we will miss out on, and how will family cope without us?

But also because talking about death with our loved ones can upset them so much, they don’t want to have to face the fact that the person they love is going to leave them.

But there is another side to this…

Sometimes it’s because death IS such a great taboo that causes the stress and anxiety, the fear of upsetting someone or getting upset yourself. Most people that have found the courage to talk things through and face the future, feel liberated and unburdened, enabling them and their loved ones, to live with a freedom of expression that is truly enlightening. It opens up the idea of asking questions about; end of life care, emotional support, identifying choices and preferences regarding facing death and after death.

As a celebrant, I offer the opportunity, if desired, to talk with people who are approaching the end of their life or have a terminal illness, to listen to their thoughts and concerns, to share my knowledge of their options of the type of services there are, for after they have died.

Which is the best memorial service to have?

Nowadays there isn’t just the two traditional choices of Church service or crematorium service. There are celebration of life services which can be free of constraints, unique and colourful. There can be natural burials outside of a church yard, there can be ashes interment or scattering in a whole variety of ways.

People can voice their wishes regarding ceremony content, dress code, music choices, lyrics, poems, or readings so they can have a service they feel is relevant to them, encapsulates their personality and also this removes much of the stress and burden on their loved ones left behind. They in turn, don’t have the pressure of decision making, which can be very difficult under a time scale, and they can feel reassured that the memorial service that they will be over-seeing is one that the deceased themselves wanted.

Some people may like to have a conversation about planning a memorial service with me privately, they may feel it would be too distressing to talk about it openly, with their loved ones, at least initially. They may, as a consequence, wish to document their preferences so that it can be referred to when the time comes, possibly in conjunction with a will or a financial funeral plan.

Once the taboo has been broken the door is open to focus on the quality of life remaining, spending precious time with those dearest, seeking solace in faith or benefiting from ‘Soul Midwives’ and the comfort and support they can bring to the whole family.

Talking is good, we may be used to the ‘stiff upper lip approach, but there is another way – Dying matters – It is the only certainty in life – It will happen to us all – we can all benefit by talking about it.

If you'd like to talk about planning for death please feel free to get in touch with me - I promise to be patient, compassionate and to fill you in on all of your options.



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