CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

The views and opinions expressed in our blog series are those of the authors and are not necessarily supported by CareSearch, Flinders University and/or the Australian Government Department of Health.

Dying to Know Day 2017: What if talking about death didn’t even raise an eyebrow?

A guest blog post by Holly Smith, Project Coordinator, The GroundSwell Project

  • 8 August 2017
  • Author: CareSearch
  • Number of views: 5697

Dying to Know Day poster imageAugust 8th is Dying to Know Day – a campaign that encourages people across the country to engage in meaningful conversation around death, dying and loss by hosting events in their local area. This is its 5th year running and it has clocked up over 403 individual events!
So why on earth should we talk about death?!
Many cultures around the world have a different approach to death. In many countries, people generally die at home surrounded by their community, it is an important time for a community to gather and support each other. Death is not a scary thing to talk about because people have seen the process over their lifetime, they are familiar with the rituals and traditions so they know exactly what to expect and how to respond.
Australia used to be like that too.
Prior to WWI and the advancements of medicine, death was a regular occurrence in the home and part of every day life. Funerals were generally family-run and everyone in the community was well across how to support others who were grieving.
Dying to Know Day is about shifting the taboo around death in our society and changing the conversation, bringing it back to community.
Talking about and planning for death early in life not only gives you a better chance to live well right up until the end, but it also offers your loved ones a sense of relief and comfort knowing that they did everything they could to fulfill your final wishes – because they KNEW what those wishes were!
Dying to Know Day was started by a passionate group of people with the desire to see every person, every workplace, every community fully equipped to support each other during death and bereavement.
How can we know what to do if we avoid talking about it?
Dying to Know Day is changing the conversation and bringing it back to community, read some of the inspiring stories from people all around Australia on the Dying to Know Day website.
There are over 90 events across Australia this year, why not join one and learn more about end-of-life planning and options. You can find an event near you on the 2017 events page on Dying to Know Day website.
Or why not jump in the deep end and host one of your own. It can be as simple as having a couple of friends over for a cuppa. We can help!
Find out more about hosting an event for Dying to Know Day.
Dying to Know Day is an initiative of not-for-profit The GroundSwell Project, find out more about their innovative work at

Profile picture of Holly Smith from The GroundSwell Project

Holly Smith, Project Coordinator, The GroundSwell Project


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The CareSearch blog Palliative Perspectives informs and provides a platform for sharing views, tips and ideas related to palliative care from community members and health professionals. 

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