Attitudes to death

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In 2011, as we were setting up Final Fling, we commissioned an independent survey of over 300 people across the UK to look at attitudes to death and dying. This informed planning for the website.

pdfFinal Fling survey on attitudes to death and dying

There was unusually clear agreement on some key questions.

On Final Fling…

“How great to be able to change my decisions at any time before my demise … converted!”

My wishes: 98% wanted their wishes taken into account if they were unable to make major life decisions.
My funeral: 97% thought their end of life event – funeral or celebration – should not be solemn.
Information: 95% thought we should have easier access to information about death and dying.
Tackling the taboo: 93% thought we should talk about death more openly.
Planning: 85% of those who didn’t have a Will thought they should have and 70% thought they should have a plan to pay for their funeral.

Here are some of the comments offered from the 300+ people who filled in our survey on death and dying.

On planning for the end…

“Anything that helps people prepare for the inevitable can only be a good thing, especially challenging taboos about death”
“I very much live for today but as I get older I realise these things should be put in place”
“Love the idea of a one stop shop to learn more about how you go about organising a funeral”

On the idea of a memory box, timecapsule or memory box…

“I have lots of stuff I’d like my son to see and discover about me.”
“I really like the idea of a memory box for others to discover more about you.”

On helping families…

“It can be a difficult subject to broach with family members – they don’t want to talk about you dying. Being able to direct them to your stored wishes might take the emotion out of that.”
“Having organised funerals for my mum and dad without knowing what they would have liked was a huge responsibility that caused family tensions.”
“My husband and I have no children and it will be left to each other or relatives to make our arrangements. I’d hate to think they had to make those decisions on their own.”
“Final Fling helps people face the reality of life and death, planning in their own home, at their PC, at their own pace – surely a much easier process.”
“Fabulous idea. I would like to share my end of life planning with my friends and family and make it as open as possible so there’s no confusion when I do die.”

About the name ‘Final Fling’…

“It’s a marmite job.”
“The name Final Fling may put some people off. Not me.”
“Final Fling brings a lightness to what is natural on this planet.”
“At first I didn’t like it. By the time I’d thought about it more, I think it’s perfect. Just the right tone.”
“Death has solemn and celebratory moments. It’s good to acknowledge these.”
“I appreciate a healthy injection of humour.”
“Final Fling – takes the sadness off without being flippant.”
“Humour is crucial at this stage.”
“I hate it”.

On tackling the taboo…

“The idea of death becoming a more open subject, spoken about more openly is a fantastic one.”
“The only certainty in life is death, so it should be talked about more.”
“The current culture of death and dying is dated and not reflective of people’s attitudes and values – great idea!”
“I like this idea – the concept is positive”

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