Death and learning to understand it

Death and learning to understand it

Death and learning to understand it

  • by Megan Burke
  • August 26, 2019

“How people die lives on in the memory of those who live on.” – Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement.

Do you know what dying looks like? Do you want to know?

A lot of people are afraid of death and dying, yet like birth, it is one of life’s most natural processes. We don’t talk about it, but it happens to us all, and if we are very lucky, it occurs at the end of a long and happy life.

For many who fear death it is perhaps the fear of the unknown that is most terrifying, and it is that fear that Dr Kathryn Mannix, former palliative care physician, author and full-time campaigner for better public understanding of dying, is working to ease by encouraging us all to “narrate dying”.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Dr Mannix said that after 30 years in palliative care she found she was having the same conversations with unprepared families and terrified people with terminal illnesses, whose image of dying came only from television and films which did not reflect reality. She said people generally, had no idea what the “normal, relatively predictable and usually, fairly comfortable process dying is actually like”.

Read the full article in The Irish Times here.

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