Dying to be heard – Planning Ahead

This year Dying Matters Week, looks at the other half of a conversation: how do we respond when someone wants to discuss death, or grief, or their will and funeral plans with us?

It’s too easy to dodge that conversation with a joke or a “maybe later.” But we know it’s hard for people to talk about death and the practical aspects of getting ready for it. So when someone wants to talk about death, we owe it to them to be the other half of that conversation. If they want to talk, we need to listen.

Dying To Be Heard is the theme for Dying Matters Week and focuses on how to help by listening.  How many people want to talk about death, but feel they have no one to talk to about it?

Now more than ever death is very poignant and we owe it to each other to have these conversations as none of us are immortal.

Our Family Support Team are available to support these difficult conversations and can provide handy tools to help make the whole experience that little bit easier for everyone.


Planning ahead is a key part of talking about death, and thinking about what we want at the end of our lives.  The resource below is a handy document to help you think about the practicalities of planning ahead and could be a good starting point for having a conversation with a loved one about your wishes.


Alternatively here is a short video which also talks about planning ahead and making plans for the future.

Bereavement Support

COVID-19 is going to mean some people dying before their time, or for some of us not being able to be at a loved ones bedside during the final hours.  This can have significant implications on how you grieve following their death.

Again our Family Support Team are on hand to support during these distressing and very difficult times and at present can offer telephone support to people living in Blaenau Gwent.  If you require support please do not hesitate to make contact with our team.  You can do this by contacting 01495 717277.

We can also support each other during these very difficult times, however it is sometimes hard to know what to say when someone is very ill or to someone who is recently bereaved.  This could be through fear of saying the wrong thing or fear of being intrusive, but people will often need a lot of support.


  • It’s better to do something than nothing – to acknowledge loss rather than ignore it
  • Look for invitations to talk from the other person. If they start talking about the person who has died, encourage them, even if it seems to make them upset
  • Be comforting when opening up the conversation rather business-like
  • Try and create an environment where the person has the freedom to talk or not talk, according to what they want. “I’m around all day if you fancy a chat…”
  • And don’t forget that our Family Support team are also on hand to provide support on how to handle these types of conversations
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