Courtesy of: Academic rigor, journalistic flair | | May 17, 2013

PA/David Cheskin
PA/David Cheskin

It’s not always easy to talk to someone who is dying. Conversations about future plans and wishes may appear insensitive and fuelled with great pain and distress when it’s somebody we love.

For some, not knowing what to say or being afraid to say the wrong thing, it is easier to avoid the person than engage in conversation where the D-word becomes the elephant in the room.

Many of us have a superficial familiarity with death. We’re used to seeing it in faraway pictures and footage in the news and on the internet or as fiction in films. But the reality for many of us who know someone who’s dying or care for them, it can be incredibly challenging and emotionally labour intensive.

For the dying, though, there is often a lot to say. This might be about putting things to put to rest, making plans about end of life care or how much therapy to have or making funeral arrangements. Most importantly, they might want to be reassured that life will continue for their loved ones when they have died.

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