When i was 6 my best friend died of Leukemia. I clearly remember the following day at school when our teacher told us all that if we needed a little cry during the day that it was OK, she was crying when she told us. I clearly remember thinking “Huh? Why would we feel like crying?”
A couple of years ago a teenager I’d been working with died unexpectedly and tragically. People kept telling us “It’s OK to cry”. I was devastated and even now his death fills me with emotion and grief – though I barely knew him!
When I was a student music therapist a woman I was working with throughout her palliative journey in aged care died while I was playing the guitar to her – she had just told me that when she dies she’d become an angel and watch over me and my babies. The staff at the nursing home told me “it was OK to cry” – and I did – though I felt happy!
August 8th is the inaugural Dying to Know Day, a fabulous concept! A day dedicated to encouraging us to talk about death – to ask questions, share our plans, fears, discuss grief and bereavement, try and work it all out and most importantly support each other. Death comes to all of us multiple times throughout our lives and can affect us differently and profoundly every single time.
OF COURSE it’s something we need to talk about more – why didn’t we think of this before!??
It’s time the topic of death became less taboo and more dinner table – lets make the ‘death talk’ something that people feel they can ask for without it being awkward.
You never know how much healing and peace may come from a conversation like this.