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This week is Hospice UK’s Dying Matters Awareness Week (6-12 May), and as this year’s theme is ‘The way we talk about Dying Matters’ we wanted to reflect on the importance of communication when someone is nearing the end of their life.

Communication is key in all aspects of our lives, but perhaps never more so than when we are faced with the loss of a loved one. We can all find having these open and honest conversations about death and dying incredibly challenging, but it is essential for the well-being of both the person who is dying and those who care for them.

One of the biggest barriers to these conversations is fear – fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of dealing with a painful reality, fear of upsetting our loved ones. We may tiptoe around the subject, avoiding any mention of death in an effort to protect ourselves and the people we care for from the pain and sadness that these discussions may bring. However, this avoidance only creates a barrier between us and the person who is dying, preventing us from truly being present and offering the support and comfort that they need.

By embracing open and honest communication about end of life, we can create a space where the person who is dying feels heard, valued, and supported. We can offer them the opportunity to express their fears, wishes, and concerns, and provide an opportunity for the person who is dying to reflect on their life, share memories and thoughts, and say goodbye in a meaningful way.

For unpaid carers, these conversations can provide clarity, guidance, and support as they navigate the challenges of caring for someone who is dying. By talking openly about death and dying, carers can better understand the needs and wishes of the person they are caring for and can feel more equipped to provide the care and support that is needed during this difficult time.

Additionally, open, and honest communication can help carers to process their own feelings and emotions surrounding death and dying. By sharing their worries, concerns, and struggles with others, carers can find comfort and support in knowing that they are not alone in their experiences. This can alleviate feelings of isolation and helplessness and can create a sense of community that is essential for the well-being of unpaid carers.

At Carer Support Wiltshire, we know how overwhelming grief can be. That is why we have partnered with Dorothy House Hospice to set up Bereavement Help Points in various locations throughout Wiltshire. These drop-in groups offer a safe and welcoming space for anyone who is grieving – a place where all feelings and thoughts can be shared openly with others who understand. If you are struggling with grief, please feel free to join one of our Bereavement Help Points. No reservation is needed, and these sessions are completely free, so come along and see if they can provide the support you need. Learn more about our Bereavement Help Points here –

By fostering a community where death and dying can be spoken about openly and honestly in a supportive environment, we at Carer Support Wiltshire want to help lift the taboo surrounding this difficult topic. We understand that discussing death can be overwhelming, but our hope is that by providing these safe spaces for conversation, we can offer comfort and guidance to those who need it. We care because you do.