To mark this year’s Dying Matters week, Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders, Kingston GP and End of Life Care Clinical Lead for NHS South West London, was joined by Magic Radio afternoon show presenter, Emma B, to discuss their experiences of loss, grief and how we can all get better at talking about dying.
Over the last five years, research shows that about 70% of people in England have experienced a loss, with each loss affecting around nine further people, so these are conversations we should all be having.
In the podcast, Emma opens up about the loss of her mother from breast cancer and how her children responded, as well as her own experiences of ectopic pregnancy, a breast cancer diagnosis and dealing with grief in the workplace.
Whilst Catherine talks about the loss of her father, dealing with her own grief as a clinician and the tools that can help us. She said: “The words I love using are ‘what matters most to you’ and ‘what matters most to you and your family’ when you’re making any decisions.”
The words I love using are ‘what matters most to you’ and ‘what matters most to you and your family’ when you’re making any decisions.”Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders, Kingston GP and End of Life Care Clinical Lead for NHS South West London
Drawing on her work with the Teenage Cancer Trust, Emma said “If you can have those difficult painful conversations with a teenager – we can all do it, to be able to do that with some dignity and with some lightness and hope is really important, it can still be done well for all of us.
“The experience of death that I’ve had, it stays with you, but it also makes you confront something scary. When you first start that path, you kind of go ‘I don’t think I can do this. I don’t think I can do this.’ But you can do.”Listen to the podcast
There is a range of support available to people in south west London who are suffering a bereavement.