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Hospice News

Dying Matters Week

We are supporting Dying Matters Week which runs from 8 – 14 May 2023. This year the focus is on trying to encourage communities across the country to come together to talk about death, dying and grief in the workplace. Some 57% of employees will have experienced a bereavement in the last five years and every day, more than 600 people leave work to look after older and disabled relatives.  And yet, fewer than one in five managers feel very confident supporting someone they manage with a bereavement.  

We know that talking about death and dying can be tough; people find it hard to talk about death. 

But being ready to talk about it can be important and being ready to listen can mean you have a better conversation. You never know when someone might want to talk so we have put together some tips on how to be a good listener which can help these conversations flow. 

Tips for being a good listener  

Listen carefully

Make sure you give the conversation your full attention. 

Don’t worry about saying the wrong thing

No one is expecting you to be an expert. The person has come to you because they trust you, not because they expect you to have all the answers. If you do want more information about death and dying, you can find lots at 

Be patient

It can take people a while to get to the point, especially if they are feeling nervous. Let the person know it’s OK to take their time and work through things. 

Be encouraging

If someone asks to talk to you about death, they might have a lot on their mind. So, try to be encouraging, and let them know you want to listen and you’re there for them. 

Try not to judge

Everyone responds to death and grief differently, so remember that advice that works for you might not work for someone else. Often what people appreciate most is the chance to unload their thoughts. They might just want to talk and not be given advice. 

Look after yourself

It can be upsetting to talk about death, especially with someone close to you, so make sure you make time for yourself afterwards. If the conversation makes you think about your own end of life plans, could it be a good time to think about who you would like to have a similar conversation with? 

Where to get more help  

The Hospice UK website has more information on talking about death and about end-of-life care. Visit