High Peak woman reminds people of the importance of talking about dying after losing her mum

A Buxton woman who lost her mum to cancer earlier this year is encouraging people to speak to their loved ones about death and dying wishes.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 8:04 pm

This week marks Dying Matters Awareness Week, an annual event led by Hospice UK which provides a chance for organisations, individuals and families to come together to open up the conversation around dying, death and bereavement.

For one Buxton resident, Cathy Price, talking about the funeral her mum, Janet, wanted made the world of difference when the time came to say goodbye.

Janet was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in September 2020 and the cancer spread to her lungs. She died in March 2021 after being supported by Blythe House Hospice.

Cathy Price and her children with her mum Janet Price before her death in March

Cathy said: “Mum wanted me to get everyone a drink on her, and she said she wanted everyone to wear bright colours and silly hats.”

Janet’s funeral was one to remember. Her family knew because of Covid restriction numbers would be limited but wanted to include people via Zoom so made up goody bags containing a drink and some snacks, just like she wanted, and also included animal themed party hats and party blowers to reflect her personality.

Cathy said: “I felt proud to arrange Mum’s funeral because I knew exactly what she wanted; I had no regrets that I’d done or chosen anything wrong, and I knew I’d done her justice.”

A spokesperson for Dying Matters said: “It has been a year like never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has put death and loss at the forefront of the nation's consciousness.

Cathy and her children wore silly hats after her mum's funeral which is what she wanted.

“Our research has found people in the UK do not have end of life plans in place because they are unaware of what to do, and unsure of how to talk about it.

“There is no right or wrong place to die; it will be different for everyone.

"But it is important for families to think about it, to talk about it, and to plan for it.

“We need to be braver about talking about death, dying and bereavement, and better at making sure the right plans are put in place to protect ourselves and our loved ones at the end of life.”

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