Welcome to Talking Death
This blog is run by Poppy’s – a modern funeral director on a mission to change funerals for the better. We believe it’s time to start a more open conversation about death and what it means to us today. There’s so much room to explore what feels meaningful and what our choices really are. This blog is a place to share new ideas, practical advice, and stories from the frontlines of death and dying.
Palliative care nurse Kate Ward on death plans, breaking taboos and shining a light on the end of life
Kate Ward is a palliative care nurse specialist and works as part of a team at Royal Trinity Hospice. She talks to us about palliative care, visiting Poppy’s with her colleagues and why deciding what your death should look like is too important to leave to other people.
It can feel challenging to speak with children about death, but being open and honest can help them grieve. Daniela Iacovella from Child Bereavement UK answers common questions about death, dying and grief, from language choices to terminal illness to explaining a funeral.
During a pandemic it can be easy to feel like we need less awareness of dying, not more. While it’s completely understandable to need a break from the news, Covid-19 has shown why it’s so important to talk openly about death. Being able to share what we think and feel has an effect on everything from our collective mental health to how we care for people who have died. Here’s why we think Covid-19 means Dying Matters Week matters more than ever.
There’s nothing unusual about needing some extra support when you’re grieving. Palliative Care Nurse Charity Garnett has put together a list of organisations that offer support when someone close to you has died. Their services include counselling, information, advice and other practical help. Please do reach out if you are struggling.
Charity Garnett is a palliative care nurse working in mid-Wales. She has been working to improve community support for people who are grieving. Her dad died when she was 15, so she knows the grieving ground well. She shares her professional advice on what to be prepared for when you’re grieving and a guide to what can help, especially during Covid-19.
Julia Samuel has spent her career thinking about grief. A distinguished psychotherapist and author of Grief Works and This Too Shall Pass, she’s spent nearly 30 years helping people work through bereavement, crisis and change. In part two of our interview, she shares how Covid-19 is disrupting grief and why it’s so important to acknowledge loss.
As a funeral director at Poppy’s, Isabel Potter found comfort in planning her beloved mum’s funeral. When Covid-19 turned all of her carefully laid plans upside down, she was still determined to say a heartfelt goodbye. She shares her experience of both the pain and consolation of holding a socially distanced funeral.
‘Hope is the alchemy that turns a life around’: grief therapist Julia Samuel on mental health during Covid-19
Right now, many of us are grieving different kinds of losses, from a sense of security to spending time with friends. Psychotherapist, author and Founder Patron of Child Bereavement UK, Julia Samuel is an expert on grief and difficult changes. She tells us about the emotional fallout of Covid-19, coping with a lack of control, and why hope is so much more than just positive thinking.
We’ve been actively working to find new ways to support our clients during Covid-19, and are taking inspiration from your generosity, fortitude and care. Social distancing has been especially hard for people who are grieving, and so has the uncertainty surrounding official guidance about funerals. We’re here to explain exactly what’s happening and the steps we’re taking to help.
Celebrant Hannah Jackson-McCamley has been at the forefront of helping people grieve during social isolation, from planning funerals on Zoom to creating memorial altars. She shares why Covid-19 has made grieving people so vulnerable and how we can still find ways to come together.
We know that having to change your funeral plans because of Covid-19 can feel extremely hard. It may be comforting to remember that funerals can still be personal and meaningful, even if the experience is different than you’d originally imagined. We’ve put together a list of ideas that other families have found helpful, along with guidance on how to plan an alternative funeral that feels right for you.
While there are still a lot of unknowns about Covid-19, we’ve put together a list of answers to common questions. We’ll look at funerals, family visits, and alternative ceremonies. Everything is changing very quickly and we’ll do our absolute best to keep this resource up-to-date.
It can be hard to begin talking about death, but there are so many good reasons to get started. Being more open about death can help us confront our own mortality, and play a role in how we grieve. Here’s why we believe being empowered to talk about death is so important.
Did you know that you don’t have to use a funeral director and that a funeral can be held almost anywhere you like? While funeral directors are always there to help, we want you to be empowered to do more if that feels right. Here’s our guide to doing more on your own, whether that means carrying the coffin or designing the entire funeral from scratch.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do when someone dies. There’s so much happening that it can be hard to think about where to begin. Be prepared for some bureaucratic responsibilities and try to consider who can help with different tasks. Here are ten suggestions about what to do next, from organising paperwork to taking the time to care for yourself.
When we do Q&As with carers, they often tell us that it can be hard to talk to the person they’re caring for about death and planning for funerals. This can be an upsetting topic and it’s really common to worry about how to get started — or even feel guilty for acknowledging death at all. But it’s completely normal to wonder what to prepare for. It may also be comforting to remember that talking about death doesn’t make it happen. We’ll look at starting the conversation and answer some questions, like how to safely save for a funeral and what to prepare for.
Funeral directors are there to help you plan a funeral, but what exactly does that mean? We want to throw open the doors and shed light on a part of our sector that doesn’t get talked about enough. Here’s our behind-the-scenes look at what a funeral director actually does, from caring for the person who has died to supporting you on the day.