Letter in response to “It’s far too late to think about death when you’re dying”

  • Talking Points

To the Editor, The Times

Dear Sir

Bishop Graham Tomlin notes that “You won’t get briefings from Number 10 on how to die” (Credo, Saturday February 6th)

This topic is vital for all to consider since, for many in our society, future options are being closed down by COVID, whether in terms of education, employment or length of life; fear of death is also affecting our current experience of life. As those who have experienced the sudden death of a loved one, or accompanied the slow but inevitable decline of others under palliative care, we have seen how the presence of faith in a life after death has made the journey much more bearable for all concerned and leaves those left behind without too many regrets. For Christians the ‘sure and certain hope’ of life beyond the grave transforms grief and fear into joy and hope.

Expounding what this faith is based on is surely what the Church of England leadership at every level should be focusing on now,

Yours faithfully

Dr Philip Giddings, former chair of the House of Laity of the Church of England General Synod

Rev Martin Down, retired parish clergyman and co-author of Talking about Dying

Dr Elaine Sugden, retired cancer consultant, Oxford

Dr Gareth Tuckwell, Former Chairman Sanctuary Care, CEO Burrswood Hospital & Clinical Director at Hospice in the Weald.