Good Death Week 2019

Wednesday 15 May saw MSPs from across the political divide join funeral directors, charities, policymakers and academics to mark Good Death Week 2019.

Hosted by Golden Charter in association with the Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief alliance, the parliamentary reception sought to encourage open conversations around death and dying.

Welcoming guests, Richard Lyle MSP, Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Funerals and Bereavement, offered his support to the Good Death Week initiative.

He said: “Aside from birth, dying is the only other experience we will all share. While dying well, or what constitutes a ‘good death’, will mean different things to us all, being more open about death is good for everyone. Planning for death when you are healthy can help you to live life to the full and means there is less to think about if you get sick.”

The event centred on a short film created by the alliance, in which ordinary people on the streets of Paisley, Elgin and Inverness share their personal reflections on the end of life.

Robert Peacock of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief added: “Good Death Week is an opportunity for people to think and talk about what matters to them at the end of life. Talking about dying is in everyone’s interests. It can help us prepare for death while we are still in good health, cope with grief after a bereavement and plan for the care and support we want at the end of our lives.

“It’s wonderful to see politicians from across the chamber come together to mark Good Death Week and join our conversation.”

After the film, Golden Charter CEO Suzanne Grahame delivered a keynote address to the guests, who included the Convenor of the Cross Party Group on Palliative Care, Bob Doris MSP, the Convener of the Cross Party Group on End of Life Choices, Michelle Ballantyne MSP, and Scotland’s first Inspector of Funeral Directors, Natalie McKail.

She said: “Good Death Week presents us with an opportunity to promote cultural change and my hope is that, by coming together with politicians, funeral directors, palliative care practitioners and third sector organisations, we can accelerate that shift to more open discussions about death and dying.”

“In this customer-led world, it is vital that people are encouraged to share their views to ensure the sector can provide a whole range of services to meet those needs. We’re therefore buoyed to see no less than 53 of the independent funeral directors in our network hosting their own unique events in communities across the country this Good Death Week.

“One conversation at a time, our aim is to drive a change from a culture of reluctance to one of open conversations and early engagement.”

Good Death Week helps individuals and organisations promote the positives of living in a society where people can be open about dying, death and bereavement. Visit

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