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Written by the BBC


A charity is calling for a “national conversation” about dying, saying the topic has become “taboo” and a source of anxiety for many. The Sue Ryder charity says people should talk to their loved ones about their final wishes as well as making sure they look after themselves.


Emily Maybanks said she struggled to cope when her dad, Michael, died from lung cancer in 2012 at the age of 53.


Emily, who was 17 at the time, said she became withdrawn and unhappy, in part because she didn’t have anyone she felt she could talk to about her loss.


She took up a place at Chichester University but ended up dropping out in her first year.


“I had moved away from home and then I realised I couldn’t cope. A lot of that was because I didn’t let myself grieve properly at the time,” she said.


How to talk about dying?

Sue Ryder says the prospect of dealing with loved ones at the end of their lives can be distressing and difficult to talk about.


It is now calling for a greater dialogue around dying and death.


Heidi Travis, chief executive of Sue Ryder, said: “Death is an inevitable part of all our lives, and yet in modern society we have become far more distanced from the first-hand reality of it.


“It’s really time to open up a national conversation on death and dying with greater education and dialogue.”


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