How do we travel well on a journey that promises to be arduous, grievous, confusing and yet, at
the same time momentous?
More critically, how do we navigate this journey with personal agency when the landscape is so often hidden from us, whether by design or denial? Can we help the people we love, as well as ourselves, approach dying and death with the same level of empowerment that we fight to exercise whilst we live?
In contemporary Australia, the right to explore options and to exercise informed choice in our
lives is increasingly insisted upon. That is, until we face dying and death.
Author Sally Cant asks a critical question: ‘Why is it different at death?’ and passionately appeals for enlightenment.
Conversations About Death boldly explores and challenges the denial, fear and avoidance that so often stand between us and a meaningful ending to life.
Crucially, she argues that control and options are central to an empowered dying and
death experience, with loss of choice having irreversible repercussions for the dying person and the many who love them. Fundamental to reclaiming control is the illumination of the death industry in Australia; its practices -‐ good and bad -‐ and the mechanisms of removal of choice at a time of vulnerability.
Cant powerfully argues that information and understanding is key to reclaiming our end-‐of-‐life, and that there are many more options in the journey than most of us know unless we are already intimate with the fields of health and palliative care; the industry of funerals; and the law.
Conversations About Death is a handbook dense with vital legal, industry and psychological information that shines a light on every aspect of the journey including: compassionate and clear advice about facilitating conversations with the people we love, about our own, or their, approaching death; legal options such as Advanced Care Plans and Powers of Attorney; medical choices; and revelatory possibilities about funerals and the disposal of remains.
This book offers truly holistic advice about the end-‐of-‐life. It outlines what to do at every point along the way, both in the approach and aftermath of death. Conversations About Death is an essential read, not only for those grappling with their own, looming end-‐of-‐life, but for those who are caring for someone who is.