Talking to Children about Death and Dying

A huge thank you to Instinctive Living for publishing this blog on talking to children about death and dying. Check out the wonderful work Instinctive Living is doing in helping us all to share our creativity and inspiration with each other.

Talking to children about death and dying

I am delighted to introduce you to the world of Granny Mo, whose job is to help children and adults to talk together about death and dying. However, first I want to tell you why she came into being. 

It all started with Jack, my not-yet four-year-old grandson asking out of the blue while he was having lunch, ‘Am I going to die one day?’ His mother glanced at me in alarm and mouthed, ‘Over to you!’ 

I told him, ‘Yes, you will die one day and so will your sister and your mummy and daddy, and I will too. Everyone dies just as everyone is born – that’s how life is created.’

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Living Fully, Dying Consciously out now!

Living Fully, Dying Consciously steps into the heart of the human condition to explore why our entire life is a psychological and spiritual preparation for death. Life is not easy, but when we accept that we are just passing through this physical existence it puts things into perspective. Confronting our fear of death and accepting our physical mortality helps us to create a much more conscious way of living. This is essential for our own spiritual wellbeing, for the wellbeing of the planet and for future generations.

 ‘This book is a Tour de Force of the science and philosophy surrounding death and dying, as well as the emerging science of consciousness survival, all of which I have both researched myself and also experienced personally, so I can verify the scientific accuracy of what Sue is reporting on – and teaching in this wonderful book.’  Dr. Alan Ross Hugenot, author of The New Science of Consciousness Survival and the Metaparadigm Shift to a Conscious Universe.

Publisher contact details and review copies



At last, choice is on the way for those not wanting resuscitation

I was very heartened to read yesterday’s Daily Telegraph’s piece, Emergency staff to be told if you want to live or die.

Backed by health minister Simon Burns, the Government is now keen for electronic records to be shared by paramedics and out-of-hours GPs, which will give seriously ill people the choice of whether they wish to receive life-saving treatment, or be allowed to die without further medical intervention.

According to the article, 8.8 million people currently have electronic records, but all of us registered as NHS patients in England will now be offered the opportunity to sign up for this facility.

This means that we can state our end-of-life wishes, and, as long as everything is in order, we will not be resuscitated if that’s what we want.


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Talking on Woman’s Hour: Facing the Fear and Doing it Anyway

Taking part in a discussion with eldercare campaigner Marion Shoard on Woman’s Hour yesterday was one of the scarier moments of my life.  Almost as bad as flying in an aeroplane (which for me tips over into miserable experience).  But I had the same heart rate going through the roof. Same wanting to throw up. Same throat muscles closing in on themselves.

Since the subject was talking about dying, I realise that some people might think this reaction a bit extreme.  Surely nothing is more frightening than the thought of dying.

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Why are we Brits so poor at talking about dying?

A recent survey commissioned by the Dying Matters Coalition (set up by the National Council of Palliative Care to promote betters ways to talk about end of life issues) says that ‘death is still a taboo subject for Brits.’

Shockingly, it found that only 16% of us told relatives or next-of-kin where we would like to die, only 18% of us have talked about the type of care and support we want at the end of our lives, and very few of us have discussed whether we have made a will (let alone a living will) or the type of funeral we want.

So, putting birth aside, why are we Brits so reticent to talk about the one life experience that we are guaranteed to share?

Personally, I blame Henry Vlll  and the Reformation.  Here’s a very simplified potted history to explain why.  (There’s a fuller version in my book The D-Word: Talking about Dying.)

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