Dying to Know in the Workplace

It can feel challenging to talk about death and dying at work, but when we seek to generate more compassionate communities, an understanding of bereavement and empathy in the workplace is essential.
Social worker Simone Hallett ran a Dying to Know Day event at her workplace in 2016,  
"It was just a small scale event to mark the day but actually went really well- better than I thought it would; was about 15 of us and we each had to draw a different topic out of a hat and talk to that topic. It was thought provoking, enjoyable and a real departure from our general workplace conversations."

Simone has kindly shared some of the questions that sparked quality discussion at her event. Feel free to use these as inspiration for your own event. We'd love to hear how you go.

Questions:

  • Does consciousness survive death?
  • What constitutes a good death?
  • What would the world be like if there was no death?
  • How did your family handle the subject of death, or death itself, growing up? What impact did that have on you?
  • Will you be cremated or buried? Why?
  • Is there ever any justification for not being honest with someone that is dying about the fact that they are dying?
  • How would you explain to a young child that a person they know has died?
  • What song would you want played at your funeral?
  • What would you want your headstone to say?
  • Thinking about yourself when the times comes where do you think would be the best place to die? Home/Hospital/Hospice/Nursing Home/ Somewhere else?
  • When the time comes for your death what do you think would be the most important thing for your end of life care?
  • Do you have any written plan for your own end of life care, financial wishes or a written plan for your funeral?
  • If you were to become unwell and/or die tomorrow are your family/loved ones aware of your wishes with regards to end of life care and organ donation?
  • Do you think about your death often? Do you talk about it often?