Skip to content
3 May 2024

Changing the narrative: How language shapes end-of-life conversations

Have you ever thought about how you would approach talking about dying? It's not an easy conversation to have, but it's an important one.

This week is Dying Matters Awareness Week, so it’s time to reflect on the power of language in shaping our perceptions of death and dying. This year’s theme, “The way we talk about Dying Matters”, underscores the importance of the words we use and the conversations we have surrounding this inevitable part of life.

Language is not just a tool for communication; it shapes our understanding, influences our attitudes, and can either comfort or distress those facing the end of life and their loved ones. By choosing our words thoughtfully and sensitively, we can create a more compassionate and supportive environment for all involved.

Whether you’re a healthcare professional, a caregiver, or simply a concerned individual, it’s crucial to recognise the impact of your words. Small changes in language can make a big difference in how someone feels supported and understood during their final days.

Dying Matters Awareness Week isn’t just for healthcare professionals—it’s for all of us.

It’s a moment to pause and reflect on how we approach conversations about death and dying in our own lives. Have you ever thought about how you would approach talking about dying? It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it’s an important one. By normalising discussions about death and dying, we can better support each other through life’s most challenging moments.

At St Michael’s Hospice, one of our missions is to change the way people talk about death and feel when they hear the word ‘Hospice’. We believe that hospice care is about more than just medical treatment—it’s about providing compassionate support to individuals and their families during their final days.

We understand that talking about death can be frightening, but it doesn’t have to be. Our goal is to facilitate easy and supportive conversations about death, creating a safe space where individuals can express their fears, hopes, and wishes.

As we observe Dying Matters Awareness Week, let’s take a step towards a more compassionate future by embracing open and honest conversations about death and dying. Together, we can build a world where everyone feels supported and valued until the very end.

Take the Talking matters quiz!

Take this short quiz to find out how 1,000 recently bereaved people in the UK feel about language and communication at the end of life, based on their experiences – and be prepared to be surprised.

Sign up now to hear about how we care for families across Herefordshire and beyond and how you can help