a loving way to talk about death
How it works
Before you begin...
It can help the person talking about their death to know that by answering these questions they are more likely to get the kind of death they hope for and that they will leave those who love and support them with a clear map of how to honour their wishes. When you are grieving someone it is a great comfort to know that you are doing what your loved one wanted.
Answering these questions is a mutual act of generosity.
Print out the questions and read through them.
If you are filling this in for yourself, please take your time and choose the questions that work for you.
If you are doing this for someone else, think about the person you will be listening to. Imagine which questions might suit them best to start with.
Choose a time and place that gives the conversation the best chance to succeed. Some people need quiet and a lot of time, some people like to have lots of loved ones around.
Try to ensure the person themselves answers the questions. Give them permission to tell the truth. Accept that you might be surprised and not always like what you hear. This is about recording their perceptions and experiences.
Start where you like and finish when you need to. It might take several sessions to get through. Be patient, you are capturing the essence of a lifetime of experience.
Look after the information carefully so that others can share it. You might even like to record and audio of this process.
Look after the person who is sharing, it can be a tender process to look back on your life.
Look after yourself. Receiving the wisdom of a life and facing death is a big undertaking.
Remember this doesn't have to be done when someone is dying. Reflecting is a precious and useful process for us all.
Please feed back to us with testimonials and ideas to help us improve this living document.
If you would like to make a donation to support this service I would be very grateful. Keeping it on the website makes it widely available and every little bit helps to make that possible.
Thank you so much.
Western Culture treats death in a way that makes us scared of this natural part of life.
Our group came together after watching the film "Zen and the Art of Dying". Many of us had witnessed beautiful deaths and . wanted to encourage the kinds of conversations that would create the possibility for more people to face death with love, courage, grace and connection.
We offer these questions as a way of changing the culture around death, one gentle conversation at a time.
Let's create a space to talk about death lovingly.
There's no wrong way to do this.
Please email any questions or suggestions to:
Please note all photographs and words belong to jane cunningham and may not be reproduced without permission.