So many of us have a story to tell about death, but so rarely do we get the chance to tell it.
Published by Sally Coldham
Feb 6, 2017
I used to think that people didn’t like talking about death. It’s an easy assumption to make. Death is a taboo topic, rarely thought about or spoken of. But what I’ve found since I began Airloom is that the reality is vastly different.
People are actually willing to talk about death - their personal experiences, stories from their friends, or friends of friends. The trouble is that there are no prompts to start the dialogue. These topics just don’t arise, or are danced around, and these important conversations are left unspoken. That is until someone brings up the topic. Recently, that person has been me.
Sometimes I’ve triggered conversations without even being present. A while ago I interviewed a woman, who had earlier that day gone to her local grocery store. She told me that the friendly cashier had asked her about her plans for the rest of the day, and the subject of Airloom was brought up. This prompted a long conversation about the logistical nightmare the cashier’s family had been through after her father passed away. She was so relieved to tell this story. This is but one of many examples.
I then assumed that while people were willing to share stories, talking about themselves or their loved ones preparing for death would be different, more difficult, but it wasn’t. Every survey I run prompts conversations between families everywhere. People often realise how little they know of their loved ones’ wishes for the logistics of aging and dying - and they begin to talk about it. Plans and preferences are communicated, which puts people at ease. Yes, these conversations are harder than others, so much more emotional than, say, the day’s events, but I’ve never heard complaints of it being too difficult, too sad or awkward. These are conversations people are relieved they’ve had.
Knowing that I’ve helped people begin these meaningful conversations is a wonderful feeling - a feeling that gets me out of bed each morning.
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