Good Death Week 2018: What is a good death?

Categories: Community Engagement.

This year’s theme invites people to ask themselves what a good death means to them, through events, activities and online discussion.

The week is organised by Good Life Good Death Good Grief, an alliance of Scottish organisations and individuals working to make Scotland a place where there is more openness about death, dying and bereavement.

People are encouraged to participate in whatever way they see fit, even by just asking the question of a friend or family member. For those looking for inspiration, Good Life Good Death Good Grief offer many different ways to get the conversation started on their website.

One popular idea is the Death Lunch, a gathering of people to discuss death over food and drink. Good Life Good Death Good Grief, a collective of individuals and organisations that helps people have open discussions about death, dying and bereavement, have a conversation menu available for download which provides three “courses” of conversation starting questions, and are offering a limited number of £50 grants for people to host their own Death Lunch.

In previous years, people have also created “Before I Die…” walls – spaces on a blackboard or noticeboard where people can reveal their wishes of things they would like to do before they die.

An online version of the Before I Die wall has been running for five years, and alongside final wishes such as “to see the Great Barrier Reef” or “to go on an elephant safari”, are more off-the-wall choices like “understand Bob Dylan’s songs”.

The alliance also have an exhibition available for display. “It Takes A Village” is a powerful and moving series of photographic portraits by award-winning Glasgow based photographer, Colin Gray, looking at the different forms care at the end of life can take. The exhibition can be provided with feedback cards for people to record their own thoughts and feelings about what they’ve seen.

Robert Peacock, Development Manager for Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief said:

“Being prepared for the inevitable is one way to help family and friends to cope at the end of your life, however difficult the conversation may be to have. Talking about it does not bring the event nearer, but it may help you reach decisions that are very important, like where you want to die, what medical interventions you might want or not want, how you want to be cared for in your dying days. The time to discuss that is when you are fit and healthy, not when a crisis point is reached.”

Good Death Week runs from May 14 – 20. For more information visit Good Life Good Death

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