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Do TV Shows Make You Talk About Death More?

October 9th, 2017

It can be very difficult broaching intense topics of conversation like death, dying and loss – but it seems that the TV shows we watch can actually help us start certain necessary discussions off.

New research from Co-op Funeralcare has just revealed that 54 per cent of us avoid having these conversations, while 31 per cent find it hard to talk about death. But 24 per cent admit that they’ve been spurred on to start such a conversation with someone about the prospect of death or a serious health condition after watching a TV show, be it a medical drama, soap opera or documentary.

On-screen deaths found to have sparked these chats included Jack and Vera Duckworth from Coronation Street, Ronnie and Roxie Mitchell from Eastenders, and vicar Ashley Thomas from Emmerdale (who fought a two-year battle with dementia before dying in the show).

The most feared difficult conversations for ‘real’ people were found to be telling a loved one someone has died, telling someone about a life-threatening illness, consoling a friend or relative after someone has died, ending a relationship, talking to children about break-ups and discussing with a loved one about going into a nursing home or care facility.

Head of operations for Co-op Funeralcare David Collingwood said: “Many of us are avoiding emotive, but important discussions about issues such as death or funeral wishes with friends and family, yet often these conversations can be started by a common interest such as a popular TV soap or drama.

“You might have spent timing thinking about them, but have you talked about them? We want to break the taboo surrounding death by encouraging people to have a conversation about their wishes for later life now, before it is too late.”

Previous research from the organisation, published back in July, found that illness, death and financial problems are among the hardest – and most avoided – conversations to have. Some 20 per cent said they’d avoided telling a loved one about a life-threatening condition – yet 22 per cent of us (more than 11.5 million people) admit that they regretted not having a conversation about death or dying with a person who has since passed away.

The biggest regrets were found to be not apologising for something before it was too late, not telling a loved one how much they meant before they died, failing to resolve an argument or rift, not discussing financial affairs and not talking about funeral plans and wishes.

It’s important that you do think about later life planning while you’re still relatively young as you’re sure to want your affairs to be properly managed if you’re ever in a position where you can’t do this yourself. If you’d like some legal help or advice, get in touch with will solicitors Lennon’s today to see how we can make sure your wishes are honoured – and that your family will be well looked after if the worst does happen.

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