‘What Matters?’ conversations

Talking about what matters at the end of life

This week is Dying Matters Week – a campaign that aims to make it easier and more comfortable for people to talk about death, dying and bereavement. As part of the week, Rowcroft’s Education Facilitator Catherine Hughes explains why it’s important for people to have ‘What matters’ conversations as they near the end of life.

“Many of us find it difficult to talk with loved ones about what matters to us at the end of our life,” says Catherine. “Too often we put these conversations in the ‘too difficult to face’ pile and shy away from them because they can create uncomfortable emotions, or we fear hurting someone who isn’t ready. However, we have learned from research that actually many people do wish to talk and plan for their futures, and welcome the chance to share their thoughts with someone willing to listen.”

Normalising conversations

“While it initially takes courage and confidence to discuss death because this is still a taboo topic, talking about it helps to normalise these conversations so that they become a part of our lives. And sharing what really matters with others about our future and our decisions, means we are far more likely to have our wishes fulfilled as well as providing some comfort for family and friends in helping achieve what was wanted.”

Starting conversations early

“By starting these conversations early, we give ourselves a voice for the future when we may no longer be able to speak for ourselves. It’s also really helpful for those who are caring for us to know what matters to us so that our future care can be shaped by what’s important to us.”

Practical tips

For practical tips about how to start a conversation with those close to you, and for more information about planning ahead, please visit our Planning for the Future Hub.

Further reading

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