Talking About Death: Essential Qualities

Talking about death and dying is talking about life and living!  I believe there are essential qualities to a healthy conversation about death and dying………..well……….really I believe they are the same essential qualities when having any conversation!

Drawn by User:Ngb
  • Non-judgment ::: Tolerance for the opinions and variety of ideas and beliefs that will be presented.
  • Compassion ::: Kindness and sensitivity not only for other’s attitudes, but also for ourselves as we explore the complexity of discussing life and death.
  • Honesty ::: Genuine expression of beliefs ::: not falling into cliches and societal norms when discussing aging, dying and death.
  • Active Listening ::: Attentive listening for new understandings and deeper meanings that may be expressed.
  • Flexibility ::: Not being rigid or defensive while dialoguing.  Allow for the possibility that definitions of words such as health, healing and hope, may change and grow as life evolves.
  • Tolerance for Ambiguity and Paradox ::: Sometimes more questions than answers surface during conversations about death.  Recognize that life is strong and fragile; simple and complex; joyful and sorrowful.
  • Respect ::: Each individual has the right to their own decisions.  Be prepared to not state your opinion or agree to disagree respectfully.  Never force difficult conversations.  Respect should always be honored when an individual states they do not want to talk about death or dying.
  • Humor ::: Laughter is a very useful when talking about the human condition!

Talk about death and dying to inspire life and living.

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