Hello, my name is Dorcas

My name is Dorcas and I am a newly qualified staff nurse working on a busy respiratory ward. I first became involved with Let’s Talk Death during an End of Life care lecture when I was a student nurse at Bradford University. Laura Middleton-Green (our lecturer) mentioned death cafes – almost in passing – and instead of asking “what is a death café?” (which would have probably been a good idea) I asked, “can we do a death café?”… and so Let’s Talk Death was born. I didn’t really know anything about death cafés, but I was very intrigued by the whole idea. In both my personal and professional life I have experienced times where communication around death and dying has been a definite downfall in people’s care – whether that be the care we, as health professionals, provide for our patients, or the care and concern we have for our own friends and family at the end of their life or at a time of bereavement. Being involved with the death café has introduced me to new ideas and perspectives, opportunities to meet new people and to access information and resources that I might not otherwise have even known existed. My confidence in talking about death has definitely grown, and this enables me to have open and honest conversations with people about death and dying – both at work and at home. We all care for somebody and for ourselves – and communication is the cornerstone to good care. Communication about death is no exception. As a society, we’ve hidden death away over the years, we don’t see it or speak about it in our everyday lives. But it hasn’t gone away. Attending death cafes or engaging in conversations about death doesn’t mean that you want to die, or that it will happen any sooner, but it can help to make it a more normal and natural thing. And death is, after all, one of the most natural things in the world.

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