Dying well begins with living well
It appears to me, that death has lost some of its taboo as every day we are bombarded by images and figures of people who have died as a result of Coronavirus locally, nationally and internationally. It brings home the reality that although Coronavirus will not be deadly for everyone, at some point we are all going to come to the end of our earthly life. Facing the unknown can be difficult and make us uncertain about how to respond. If we are always looking ahead in a negative light, some of us experience feelings of anxiety, helplessness and fear which are unhelpful and exhausting. Others are able to shift their thinking from what ifs, trying to live in the present, being realistic about the crisis and threats, and facing death with the same values with which they live their lives. One way of doing this is by not being afraid to think or talk about death, to make preparations for it, whether it be imminent or years away. You may fear talking about your death will upset you and those you are closest to, but once you have done it, you are likely to experience a sense of relief at having been proactive and ensuring that others are aware of your personal wishes and that they have some guidance about handling your affairs in the way you would like. Thinking about life and death matters does not alter the outcome but can raise important questions about dying, death and life beyond death which can help us to come to terms with issues around our mortality. It can also have the effect of removing the feelings we are struggling with, making room in our lives for feelings such as gratitude, joy, hope, love and peace.
Some of you have already sent or given St Mark’s clergy information about your end of life wishes. If you haven’t and would like a template to help you to start to think about this issue, please follow this link: Planning for end of life
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this issue, please contact one of the clergy team.