LOOKING AHEAD

I can’t remember the last person who used the word death, it is usually talked around
Medical oncologist

Death is hard

There are many diverse cultures in Australia so there are a broad range of attitudes, practices and customs with respect to death and dying.

Thinking ahead about what is important at the end of life is something we should all consider. Groups such as the Groundswell project and Dying to Talk are encouraging us to have conversations about end of life and death.

Talking about things that matter while you are still feeling well, such as the type of health care you might prefer, will help others to understand your wishes and will make decisions less stressful later.

As health professionals and researchers, we have seen first hand the sense of control, reassurance and comfort that the opportunity to express preferences and wishes for the end of life brings to people and to families and friends. And so we have included some ideas about preparing for end of life here.

Considering end of life can be particularly difficult or upsetting for people living with pancreatic cancer and their families. As Deborah points out:

Death is hard, we don’t like it. We struggle to speak about it. We often wish death wouldn’t happen. Not to our family. Not to our friends. Not to those that we love. But death does happen. It happens to everyone. People we love die. People we love die too young.

Deborah Storie, Pastor, extract from 2018 memorial service

You may not be ready to consider this topic now, but this is here for you, your family and carers to come to later… if you feel ready, should you wish.​

Yeah he’s scared of dying, he’s scared of dying and not having the time. I try to talk to him about what is it you’re scared of, but he’s … scared of dying, …which is understood, I understand.

Irene, carer of her father with pancreatic cancer