Dying? The Need to Talk – New Book Hopes to End the Last Great Taboo!

  • The Importance of Talking


DEATH – the last taboo? We ignore it, we hide from it, we ask our doctors to delay it; but we all must face it sooner or later. Yet even medical professionals struggle to talk about it. Four people who have faced death through their professional or personal lives have set out to challenge that. The national debate on assisted dying, has brought the matter into sharp focus. We need to talk.

Talking about Dying is a practical book for everyone: for families, for those who are dying, and for doctors, nurses, schoolteachers, clergy, and funeral directors. It pulls no punches!

Its chapters by experts in a range of fields cover stillbirth and talking to children, through to cancer and hospice care. The writers are a parish priest, a cancer specialist, a leader in the hospice movement, and the former head of politics at Reading University, Dr Philip Giddings, who has been widowed twice.

Giddings says: "We often think the best way to deal with death and dying is to ignore them… But silence will not do. We need to talk frankly about them and how to cope with them — at home with our families and amongst our friends and our colleagues. Death comes, sooner or later, to us all. It is our conviction and our prayer that everyone, of all ages and situations, will find help here. We can try to ignore its coming, but it will come."

In 12 short, practical chapters the reader is guided in how to make preparations: writing or updating a will, planning a funeral, making contact with those they have lost touch with, perhaps taking steps to heal a long-standing breach with a relative, or a friend. A comprehensive index makes the book easy to use.

The authors also cover: ● Advanced Directives – ‘living wills’ Coping with life-threatening illness The when, where and how of talking about dying Suicide The death of a baby Talking to children about death.

Practical Appendices help the reader navigate the seemingly-complex journey of what to do when someone dies at home, obtaining a death certificate, and arranging a funeral – all when in shock, disbelief, and grieving.

The Revd Dr Michael Lloyd, Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford says: “This is one of the most practical books I have come across. I recommend it very warmly indeed for the guidance it offers and the hope it provides.”

Talking About Dying, now in its second edition, fully revised and updated, is newly published by Dictum Press, Oxford, and accompanied by a website (www.talkingaboutdying.org) which is full of resources. These offer a wealth of practical and spiritual guidance for anyone facing the challenges of dying and death – whether their own death or that of a family member or friend.

  • Talking About Dying: ISBN 978 1 915934 03 1. Paperback,172pp. Second edition, published 21 March. RRP £9.99. Available from all good bookshops. Or with a free E-book fromdictumstore.com.