Does talking about death make it happen?

Amy Szott and Aaron Thackray outside Poppy's, London funeral directors

Three minute read

Does talking about death make it happen? At first glance, this is a strange question. Of course not. We all know logically that simply talking about something does not make it more or less likely to take place.

But, if you go deeper, many of us feel this to be true, even if at a subconscious level.

Fear underpins our reluctance to talk about death. It explains why we use euphemisms when we do. Fear, not just of what the future holds for us, but also fear of upsetting, offending or embarrassing the people around us. This is normal and important to acknowledge.

But what about a different question — does talking about death help reduce our fear and anxiety about it?

At Poppy’s, we believe the answer to this question is ‘yes’.

It’s because being equipped with information means that, instead of imagining the worst, you know what is realistic to expect. Knowing what’s possible allows you to make the choices which are right for you, rather than simply relying on what you’ve seen other people do before. Talking about death doesn’t take away our worries, but gives them a means of expression and release.

We find that often people want to ask questions or to share their experiences, but aren’t sure where to start or the right language to use. It’s especially hard if you’re a care worker, health professional or carer and others look to you to take a lead or expect you to know the answers.

Your opportunity to ask a funeral director

This is why we’re holding an open online Q&A on Thursday 24 February at 7pm. This is a safe and welcoming space to ask your questions to a funeral director or simply to listen and discover what others want to know.

Book your place for our online Q&A now

The panel covers a huge range of experience.

Aaron (pictured above right) manages Poppy’s mortuary, so knows firsthand how we look after people in our care, and what you should expect from a funeral director from the moment you first get in touch.

Natalie is an independent funeral celebrant, as well as having worked with Poppy’s as a funeral director. She can share experience from hundreds of funerals and answer questions about crafting ceremonies or memorial services.

Amy (pictured above left) is part of our small team of funeral directors, accompanying people through every step of a funeral from start to finish.

As funeral directors and celebrants, it’s our job to have these conversations and to answer your questions. When talking to a funeral director, you should never feel that there’s anything you can’t ask about. For too long the funeral sector has been known for its lack of transparency, but we’re determined to change that.

What question will you ask?

A lot of the questions that we are asked begin: ‘Is it normal that…?’ or ‘Is it okay to…?’ But, however strange or unusual your question might seem to you, it’s very unlikely that you are the only person who wants to know. And, if we don’t know something, we can always find it out.

So, what questions will you come with? They can be practical, personal or simply something you’ve already been curious to know.

Here are a few to get you thinking… What does someone look like after they’ve died? How do you know you’re burying the right person? Is it worth taking out a funeral plan? Can I be buried in my favourite clothes? Does a funeral have to be religious? Do you have to have a ceremony at all? What’s the most environmentally friendly kind of funeral to have? How do you train to be a funeral director? What are some of the most unusual funerals you’ve ever been involved in?

Start the ball rolling on Facebook or Twitter by posting the questions you’d like us to answer during the Q&A.

Book your free place at our online panel here

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