Are you dying to live or living to die? And does your view change if you are told you only have months to live?
This week’s blog comes from Sue Bourne, award-winning documentary maker, who wants to connect with YOU, if you have had a terminal diagnosis and want to share your experience.
Sue tells us:
“I’ve had to think about death and dying a bit more than most not because I’m maudlin (honest!) but because I’ve had cancer – an experience that robs you of the presumption you’re going to live to a ripe old age. A lot of people close to me have died recently too and because they all reacted to their impending death in such totally different and unexpected ways, it made me wonder all the more what I’d do.
“We’re all going to die but most of us avoid thinking about it, perhaps because we’re scared of dying. So if I wanted to work out what I might do if I was told I only had months to live, I needed to talk to people who were in that position.
“I’m a documentary film-maker, (an award-winning one to boast) so I decided I had to make a film that gave a voice to people facing death. Thankfully, the BBC agreed this was a really important subject so commissioned me to make the film.
“My attitude is that if we’re all going to die, then we should be able to talk about it openly and honesty. Terminal illness is a subject that needs to come out of the closet but this is not a film about dying. I do not want to make a film about doctors, hospital visits, horrible treatments and death. Instead I want to find love, joy, precious moments and most importantly life.
“So my mission is to find out how you come to terms with your own death. What does it feel like? What goes on inside your head? How do you respond? Do you rush around spending all of your money and having a ball? Or do you stay quietly at home with your family and friends? Can you find peace in dying? Are there any positives?
“I want to give a voice to people who have a terminal illness. I want to ask them “When time is running out do you discover, at last, what really matters in life?” What can they tell us about how to live and how to make the most of our lives?
“If you have a terminal illness or know someone who does who would be willing to have a conversation with us please do get in touch.”
With very best wishes
Support at end of life
You don’t have to do the journey alone. Get help to do the best you can to have a good death.
See our info on the ‘death movement’ – others who are openly engaged in thinking and talking about end of life to see what help there is:
- death cafes
- coaches and counsellors
- find help in our Marketplace – death doulas, soul midwives, biographers.
- See more about how to live life well
- See retreats and courses, like Archa’s twice yearly Dying to Live course.
Practical things to do
- Leave a token of love to someone without having to rewrite your Will: add a post in your Wishes and share with your Keyholder.
- Share a story, memory, message: add a post in your Memory Box for later.
- Sort out your paperwork so next of kin can find everything. Run through this checklist of the 20 essential documents they’ll need and make sure to add them to your Safe Deposit Box. It’s as safe as online banking.