Why do we find it so difficult to talk about death… and money?

Have you seen the TV ad about our nation’s inability to talk about the ‘M-word’? Partnering with Relate, Lloyds Bank is currently leading the way in de-stigmatising conversations about money, and encouraging everyone to find the words to push through the awkwardness and have ‘difficult’ conversations with loved ones.

The ‘D-word’ (dying) is just as ‘dirty’ or ‘taboo’ in our experience. And at the most vulnerable times in our life, both these difficult conversations arise at the same time. Something I was reminded of just last week when I was consoling a good friend whose mother has very recently been diagnosed with a secondary malignant tumour. Specialists don’t know where the primary cancer site is and the treatment plan is simply to keep her comfortable and wait for the inevitable.

It saddens me at this incredibly difficult and upsetting time that my friend should be so worried about not knowing how his mother would prefer to live out the end of her life – and is too afraid to ask her. Particularly after they have just had an incredibly difficult time (and in fact fell out over) discussing finances.

My friend is concerned that he simply doesn’t know anything about his mother’s end of life/death care preferences, her financial situation, her will, nor whether she has a funeral plan – having never discussed any of these vitally important things with her. And he knows time is running out.

Of course, worrying about the future at this time is natural. But it’s so very important to spend these last, precious times together reminiscing, listening to music, or simply sitting in quiet company. Not forcing yourselves to have conversations that really should have happened already.

It’s the times when we’re healthy, happy and ‘in control’ that we should share our finances, wills, end of life preferences and discuss our funeral arrangements. Or even better, that we write everything down, make arrangements, and set up payment plans so that when the time comes – everything is taken care of. And we can focus on supporting and spending time with our loved ones.

If you’re ready to talk about death, and want to make arrangements for your funeral – we’re ready to help. Simply get in touch with the team, or drop me a line directly.

Written by Director, Gareth Coles