Growing up in I was sheltered from any experience of death and dying, so I encountered a steep learning curve when my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. Coping with the practicalities of her illness, nurturing our changed relationship, managing our family’s dynamics, navigating through the hospital and palliative care systems, and making our remaining time together count was as educational as it was profound. While her illness changed everything and her loss was devastating, I feel so privileged to have shared her beautiful death.
We met some amazing people along the way – exceptional practitioners of various types – specialising in helping the dying or assisting families of the deceased. I’d never heard of their services, products and therapies before. But when the needs of our beloved mum entered unfamiliar territory, we were lucky to find a range of caring services through conversations and helpful tips.
I’ve experienced the deaths of other loved ones since then, and I’ve become wiser each time. But whenever I hear about someone doing great things to care for our dying and dead, I wish I had known earlier! I want to raise awareness of the wonderful options available to all of us so we do our best for our loved ones (and ourselves) when time together is limited.
Caretailors will shine a light on the incredible individuals who improve our end of life experiences.
Of course there are infinitely variable paths leading to death, and everyone has a different story to tell. But there are many people out there who can support us in unimaginable ways. I’d give anything to have her back, but my mother showed me there is grace, healing and beauty in death.
Dr Christina Hall