In the US, the Conversation Project was started by Ellen Goodman to encourage people to have conversations about death.
A Pullitzer Prize winner, journalist and founder of the project, Ellen has a top 10 list of the questions people ask her most often about the Project and why she got started. Right at the top of the list is:
“What was it like for you to have to make decisions for your mother at the end-of-life … without having had the conversation …?”
Because that’s where it began for her. Her mum wasn’t even able to decide to have what for lunch latterly. And Ellen had missed her slot to “have the conversation”. It’s so easily done. It’s hard to know when the time is right to have the conversation and you don’t see the day coming when it’s too late. There are no red flags being waved up the road ahead of us.
So our best advice is : HAVE THE CONVERSATION NOW! Try this:
Dicing with death
Next time you’re prepping dinner, dicing carrots or enjoying a bite and a glass with friends, use Final Fling as the perfect excuse for starting conversations about life and death:
“I’ve just signed up for Final Fling… I heard about it on Woman’s Hour. It gives you free Life Planning Tools for saving and sharing your thoughts, wishes, paperwork, stories with those you love. What do you think about that?”
Leave space for others to express. It doesn’t matter if they think it’s stupid! It opens up the space to start chatting round topics.
Try some of these open questions:
- What’s top of your Bucket List on Final Fling? When are you doing it? What will you replace it with when you do it?
- What’s your most treasured possession and who have you left it to in your Final Fling Wishes?
- What favourite piece of music do you think would be uplifting for people at the end of your funeral? Is there a story you’d love told at your funeral that you could store in your Wishes?
- What one photo would you like passed back to someone in your life at the end with the message “happy days” or “thanks for the good times”? When will you put it in your Memory Box to make sure they know how much they matter?
- And finally, a very serious one. What do you think would happen if you didn’t have a Will or Power of Attorney sorted out in your Safe Deposit Box?
See our short films where Final Flingers talk about the benefits of talking about life and death decisions.
See more about the Conversation Project and use their toolkit to have your own conversations.