A new website tackling the many questions and issues around death and dying launched recently. The ‘Art of Dying Well’ joins the growing ranks of the ‘death positive’ community online, and attempts to confront the taboo around the discussion of death and dying.
Based in the Catholic tradition but open to all, the ‘Art of Dying Well’ features real-life stories about dealing with the final journey. Professionals in palliative care, ethics, chaplaincy and history have informed the site content which is for the dying; the bereaved; carers (professional and otherwise) and, at a deeper level, it offers spiritual support for those who seek it.
It also addresses some of the fundamental questions about the act of dying, and describes how it is possible to approach the subject in a manner that can be of benefit to all. Featuring video interviews dealing head on with the experience of dying, the site explores what it means to die well, and how this is something that can help people live a happier life in the present, even in the face of terminal illness.
In one of the most powerful videos on the site, a consultant in palliative medicine who has witnessed thousands of deaths in the course of her career, describes what dying is like. Her calm manner and the comfort in what she has to say attracted a huge amount of media attention following the launch of the project. In a radio interview between the consultant and DJ Nicky Campbell on BBC 5 Live, one caller to the show said afterwards: “A moving, compassionate description of a good death by a caring doctor. Such an important item, thank you.”
The team behind the project have received lots of positive feedback since the launch at the end of 2016. One visitor to the site said: “I have just read the ‘Art of Dying Well’. It has given me great solace as I journey to my own death. A wonderful resource. Thank you.”