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What is Dying To Know Day?
Dying To Know Day is an annual awareness day across Australia on the 8th of August, that is dedicated to increasing everyone's knowledge of why it is important to prepare for death, and what to do to make things easier for our families, from writing a Will, to advance care-planning and recording funeral wishes.
Dying to Know Day is organised by the Groundswell Project, which advocates for improved end-of-life care in Australia, including a public health approach to death that involves the entire community, and increasing all Australians’ ‘Death Literacy.’
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The campaign message for Dying to Know 2019 is ‘Death: it takes all of us.’ This motto not only emphasises the fact that everybody dies, but also that everyone in the community can do something to make things easier for people who are dying and their families.
In 2019, there will be more than 170 Dying To Know Day events in every state and territory across Australia. Taking place in hospitals, libraries, community centres, cafes, pubs, cemeteries, crematoria and funeral homes, the conversations cover everything from estate management to myth-busting about end-of-life care and coping with baby-loss. There will also be extensive social media coverage by the Dying To Know team on Facebook and Twitter.
Why Should Australians take part in Dying To Know Day?
Everyone dies and everyone will be bereaved at some point in their life. Unfortunately, not preparing for or talking about death can make things even more painful for the loved ones we leave behind after we die.
Being unsure of a loved one’s advance care-plans, what they wanted for their funeral, or not knowing if they had written a Will, only adds to a family’s distress. They often wish that their loved one had had a conversation with them about death before they died.
Even if you don’t have any particular preferences, it can make things easier for your loved ones if major decisions, such as whether you prefer a burial or cremation, or even a green funeral, are made by you. Arranging a funeral that respects your wishes can provide a comforting connection for your family when they are still in the first few days of grief.
As the team behind Dying to Know tells Funeral Guide:
"We talk, share, plan and learn in preparing to give birth, shouldn't we be as open and interested in planning for our end of life too? 2019 is our biggest Dying to Know Day campaign yet. There is a growing hunger for opportunities to have these conversations across the country."
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Finding out the facts about end-of-life issues and advance-care planning can also make things easier for you, when thinking about your own death.
You can find out about any issue around death, funerals and bereavement at a Dying to Know Day event, where you can listen to experts, ask questions and have a conversation about death with other members of your community.
What Type of events are part of Dying To Know Day?
No matter which aspect of death you would like to know more about, you can find a Dying To Know Day event that appeals to you; from workshops with solicitors, nurses and funeral directors, to casual conversations or activities over morning tea, lunch or dinner.
Many events are drop-ins where you can simply show up, but others require an RSVP. A few events, especially if food is served, might also charge a small fee.
Where can I find a Dying To Know Day Event?
Most Dying to Know Day 2019 events are on the 8th of August, but there are several happening over the next few days as well. You can find all the information you need to choose an event, and RSVP if required, by clicking on the pins in your area on the map.
What is Death Literacy?
‘Death literacy’ is practical knowledge of what you need to do to prepare for your end-of-life care and death, including managing your estate and recording your funeral wishes. Improving all Australians’ death literacy is a central purpose of Dying To Know Day.
The Groundswell Project is currently developing a Death Literacy Index to measure knowledge of end-of-life issues across the population of Australia.
What else can Australians do to prepare for death?
Preparing for death is something that everyone can do to make things easier for their loved ones. Dying To Know has a ‘Walk the Talk’ check-list of things you can do, from researching burial options or starting a conversation about death on social media.
You can tweet your thoughts on Dying To Know by using the handle @GroundSwellAus and the hashtags #D2KDay and #deathliteracy.
If you are inspired by an event, or unable to find one near you, you can plan and register a Dying to Know Day event yourself for 2020.