Research reveals that young Brits are more comfortable talking about their own death rather than someone else’s
While the idea of talking about death may be scary, a study of 1,000 people revealed that 73% of over-65s never raised the topic of death with their mum - 79% admitted that they had never had the conversation with their father either.
On the other hand, the research, commissioned by Pure Cremation, revealed 62% of 18-25 year-olds have actually had a conversation about mortality, usually with a friend or with their mums.
Notably, 16% of the over-65s say that they avoid talking about death because they haven't thought about their own final wishes. While 20% of the 18-24s state they haven’t made plans for their own send-off either.
This shows that both generations may have something in common; the reason they give for not talking about death is that 'the idea of death is scary'.
Catherine Powell, the founder of Pure Cremation, said that the older generation has a better understanding and value of the topic. “These findings show that while avoidance of talking about dying is an epidemic among the over-65s, this age group has the best understanding of the value of the conversation.”
“Although there is still a lot of work to be done to remove any fear and awkwardness around the subject, it is hugely encouraging that a brave new generation of young people are up for tackling this challenge - and the great news is they are actually getting on with it and talking about the fact that eventually, our time will come to an end.”
Technology could have a large part to play in this - more than half of 18-25 year-olds say that they would use an online forum to talk about the subject, and 41% are willing to use FaceTime or Skype.
Sam Owen, relationship coach and psychologist, has worked with Pure Cremation on its Dead Good Report - a state-of-the-nation report which looks at attitudes to death and dying. She said that death is a natural part of life and she would urge people of all ages to talk about the subject.
“We must all be completely honest with ourselves and others when it comes to the subject of death, not least because it is a natural part of life. I would urge people of all ages to talk about death.
“Make it as emotionally comfortable as possible; and use these conversations to give you perspective, motivation and energy - as a reminder of the limited time we all have.” Sam explained.
“Being open about death can prepare us for when a loved one passes, giving us resilience through the grieving process.
“Importantly, if you don't have the big conversation with those close to you, you will miss out on learning what you can do to fulfil the final wishes of your loved ones when the time comes.”
If you are struggling to talk about death with someone close to you and would like more information, or for professional support, visit Counselling Directory.
Photo by Harli Marten on Unsplash