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Death considered most difficult topic

Conversations about death are considered among the hardest to have and the most avoided, according to research by Co-op Funeralcare.

Telling someone a loved one has died, telling a loved one about a life-limiting illness or offering consolation after someone has died are the conversations people fear most...

However more than a fifth – over 11.5 million Brits – regret not having a conversation about death and dying with a loved one who has since passed away.

More than half the UK adults surveyed (54%) admit to avoiding difficult conversations, with one in five having avoided telling a loved one about a life-threatening illness, and 17% having avoided telling a loved one that someone had died. 

Almost a third feel that Britain has a particular problem talking about death compared to other nations and cultures.  In addition, 31% say they struggle to talk about death.   

The biggest regrets include not telling someone who’s since passed away how much they meant to them (66%), not apologising before it was too late (24%), failing to resolve a rift (22%) and not talking about funeral wishes (17%).  

David Collingwood, head of operations for Co-op Funeralcare, said important topics could feel too difficult to broach: “That is why we want to get people talking about their wishes for later life now, as it is better to have the conversation than to be left with regrets. 

“It also means that if these needs are talked about now, it can remove some of the emotional pressures of planning a funeral.”

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