Few of us want to admit it, but death is one of life's certainties. As a nation, we find death and end of life wishes one of the most difficult topics to discuss. It is a sobering subject and people can find funeral planning a sensitive or awkward matter, as if talking about dying will somehow make it happen. This, however, need not be the case.
I was open minded, but couldn't help but feel that the whole experience would be incredibly awkward. Thankfully, Aly and her co-host, Gina Awad of Exeter Dementia Action Alliance, made it relaxed, friendly and thought-provoking. Here are just a few things I learnt in my two hours discussing all things death, dying and bereavement.
The idea that there is some beauty or romance in suicide, some tortured individual or couple finally freeing themselves from pain and suffering is irresponsible. Were all suicides talked about as they should (and often are) as cataclysmic, moments of human suffering, then it is quite possible there would be fewer.
People almost always say nice things about dead people. You can't speak ill of the dead, people say, but they're wrong, you can, they can't hear you. It's not just obituaries, it's eulogies. I went to a funeral once and the vicar was saying such nice things that I thought I'd turned up to the wrong crematorium.
Wrapped in a blanket, my brothers and I used to sit by the radiator and listen to my mum read children's classics. My favourites were Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. I remember revelling in the stories of a clueless bear, accompanied by excited and reluctant friends, wandering around Hundred Acre Wood in the perpetual pursuit of honey.
On Saturday the 25th of June, the UK will celebrate Armed Forces Day. The day is a chance to celebrate and honour those who serve our country in our forces. For some, though, the day is emotional as they remember those they have lost through service in our military. It can be extremely difficult for some families, friends and professionals to take part in Armed Forces Day and to discuss loss with a child.
If you want to help Brendan Cox, or any bereaved friend, remember that the pain goes on for them. And on, and on, and on. You can help. Just be there. Take them out, let them cry, realise that they are a newborn trying to find out who they are going to become now that the world has ended. They will remember your kindness (or your stupidity) forever.