death & dying
Oncology season is approaching again. Next month, I will arrive with sweaty palms and dry mouth at the hospital which summons supressed fear the moment the A-road heralds the big 'H' signpost.
How do we deal with terminal or life-shortening illness? What do we do, if it is us, a loved one or someone we know? There is no off-the-shelf answer; there is no simple solution. It is a journey we may find ourselves on unexpectedly and unprepared, or we may already be on the way, knowingly or unknowingly.
Every minute someone in Britain dies, and almost half of us report having been bereaved in the last five years. Yet society's response, often falls short - making it even harder for people to come to terms with the loss of someone close to them.
While we do not have the disease, our own lives can become overshadowed and change. We may lose part of ourselves (hopes, aspirations, freedom, love and support) and a level of being care-free: without having to worry, without having to care for another.
Artificial intelligence can tweet as if you were still here. And we've definitely developed the technology to create functioning holograms of the deceased, it's just the ethics of turning the proposition into a business...
Marie Curie works on its own and in partnership with a wide range of NHS, public and voluntary sector organisations to tackle many of the challenges highlighted in today's report. We want everyone, wherever they live to be able to have a 'good death', provided with the care they want and need, with support available for them and their families.
If we were all able to discuss our end of life wishes and make plans in a more confident and better-informed way it's likely we would see huge improvements in people's experiences at such an important time for them and those close to them and that we would be less scared of dying.
It is all too easy to let your true ambitions, your dreams and consequently yourself, be consumed by the expectations of others, by life's pressures and by fear of failure. This however; is no excuse to surrender. I often say that mistakes are things I did and regrets are things I didn't do.
Justin Bieber raised eyebrows this week at the Anne Frank museum, when he said he hoped the Holocaust victim would have been
Although too often an afterthought, end of life costs should form a central part of this planning; a loved one passing away is a difficult enough time as it is, unattended and unexpected financial costs should not add further upset at a time when loved ones are grieving.