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Dying matters

16 September, 2022

As a nation, this week we have been reflecting on death and mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. And many of us will have been struck by the scale and scope of planning that has gone into this period of mourning and the upcoming funeral, where every detail has been respectfully anticipated and planned for.

And yet, we are still poorly equipped to accept our own inevitable mortality, and talk to our loved ones about our own wishes for when we die. As we live longer, often with chronic illness, do our nearest and dearest know how we want our end of life care to be managed? How many of us have a will? Or lasting powers of attorney and living wills should we be incapacitated?

This is a moment to reflect on our own hopes and fears for the end of our lives. There are many resources available to help with this, including a new platform that is a fantastic, simple service to help us all plan for death and involve people close to us in this journey. The Aura platform (aura.life) was set up by my brother Paul who contracted Motor Neurone Disease over five years ago, to help him deal with his own experiences of terminal illness. Paul has also just published a memoir – “Very Much Alive” – about his experiences since his diagnosis. It is an inspirational story.

By Giles Gibbons

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