Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

Guest blogger Derek Blues, Policy Manager with the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, wants us all to talk a bit more about dying.

Good life cartoon

Death is normal. We can all help each other with death, dying and bereavement.
Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief is a growing national alliance of over 600 organisations and individuals working to make Scotland a place where there is more openness about death, dying and bereavement so that:

• People are aware of ways to live with death, dying and bereavement
• People feel better equipped to support each other through the difficult times that can come with death, dying and bereavement

It is never too early to think about planning ahead for illness and death – making plans when you’re healthy means there is less to think about if you get sick.

Why is thinking about this a good thing? 

One of the normal reactions of members in society is to say that it’s never the right time to think about death but lots of unnecessary harm is caused because people in Scotland are not open about death, dying and bereavement.  For example:

  • People who are dying or bereaved can experience isolation because people don’t know what to say or how to act towards them
  • People die without wills, leaving complicated situations for their families and friends
  • Health care professionals struggle to have conversations with their patients about what care or treatments they want as they approach death. This makes it hard to plan the care that a person really wants
  • If the fact that someone is dying is not acknowledged then opportunities to resolve issues and say goodbye may be missed

What can be done to help?

Taking a few simple steps can go a long way to helping avoid these harms. For example, individuals could:

  • Make a will
  • Arrange a power of attorney
  • Ask their partner if he/she wants to do a power of attorney
  • Bring up their children in a way which doesn’t hide death
  • Allow their ageing parents/partner to tell them about their worries and preferences for care
  • Say goodbye to the people they love or who care about them
  • Be willing to listen to and talk to their neighbours or colleagues if they are experiencing difficult times related to death, dying or bereavement 
  • Discuss with their GP the sort of care they would prefer towards the end of their life

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of the national alliance Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, please sign up on the website to access their free resources.


3 thoughts on “Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief

  1. This is a great blog by Derek. Too many people think if they just ignore the necessary arrangements death won’t catch up with them. Bad luck folks, it’s going to happen. Although it didn’t feel like it at the time I count myself lucky that I had two life threatening conditions within a year of each other so I had to get my affairs in order, No one can choose their exit date but they can take as much control as possible before the event!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s