Death and dying is everybody’s business and once we get started in a Diealog Group, we find there is so much to talk about! Sometimes discussion topics are agreed in advance and sometimes they arise spontaneously in each Diealog meeting.
Here are some of the main TOPICS AND SUBJECTS which come up for discussion in Diealog Groups:
1. Present Life:
ageing issues, current energy/health, preoccupations, caring for others, thinking about the conversations we want or need to have, talking to our families and loved ones
2. Living Life to the Full:
activities, pleasures, social life and friends, including with a life-limiting or terminal illness right to the very end so far as is possible
3. Looking Forward:
what personal preparations we want to make before we die, hopes, fears, things lacking, and ‘bucket list’ wishes
4. Advance Planning for our Future Dying:
o Practicalities of doing a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney
o Advance Directive to Refuse Treatment and Advance Statement – what we DON’T want and what we DO want
o Funeral planning, and what we want to happen to happen to our body (including organ donation)
o Support for our living circumstances, carers, and dealing with our property and belongings
o Information about palliative care and end-of-life services and resources, and where to find trustworthy and reliable help, support, advice and guidance
o Practical know-how about giving appropriate care, and potential role of End of Life Doulas
5. Looking Back:
successes, failures, regrets, and celebrations
6. Timely and Untimely Death:
loss, bereavement and grieving, and coping with unexpected deaths, including suicide and difficult endings
7. Life/Death Issues:
moral and ethical questions, including campaigns to increase awareness in society about death and dying and perhaps the need to change the law
8. ‘Good Death’:
explorations of the many meanings and social and cultural constructions of death and dying in society and culture
religious belief and spiritual practices, including the experience of ‘Nearing Death Awareness’ and common pathways in the transition from life to death
Diealog Groups can sometimes also agree to focus on particular discussion topic or practical issue in greater depth.
Diealog Groups allow us to talk about things that many people regard as taboo and to say what we want.
We are not therapy groups, but we do listen support and encourage each other, helping and guiding each other to explore things differently and make positive changes in the way we live our lives if we want to.
There’s so much to talk about!