Dying to Know Day: ‘We spend a lot of time pretending we are immortal’

NEW FRIENDS: Wendy Hunter and Zoe Carroll at Bega's Red Cafe on Wednesday for Dying to Know Day. Picture: Alasdair McDonald
NEW FRIENDS: Wendy Hunter and Zoe Carroll at Bega's Red Cafe on Wednesday for Dying to Know Day. Picture: Alasdair McDonald

Residents hoping to normalise conversations around death and dying gathered in Bega on Wednesday for Dying to Know Day.

The day is a nationwide campaign aimed at starting a conversation about end-of-life care, death and loss.

Tuesday’s event at Bega’s Red Cafe was organised by Funhouse Studio director Cayce Hill.

“I think when we face difficult issues together it’s a whole lot easier,” Ms Hill said.

“Death is an isolating topic but it doesn’t need to be.”

For Bega’s Wendy Hunter, being around others open to discuss dying is a liberating experience.

“We spend a lot of time pretending we are immortal, and putting things off,” she said.

“The reality is we are all going to die, we just don’t know when.”

The day is an initiative of The Ground Swell Project, which claims 75 per cent of Australians have not had end of life discussions, and 60 per cent think death is not spoken about enough.

Ms Hunter said while the issues can be difficult to talk about in order to help with not just the emotional aspects of death but also the practicalities involved.

“It’s about prioritising, and working out what you can do,” she said.

“It is great to meet other people keen to talk about it.”

A recent positive experience with the death of a close uncle gave her an “opening into what death can look like in very positive ways”, she said.

“I am ageing, which is why I appreciate that it is really hard to talk about death, but we need to talk about it,” she said.

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