About Death and Dying

This page aims to provide you with clear and simple information about Death and Dying as it’s something that our hospice teams get asked often.

Our hospices specialty doctor specialist doctor death and dying
Our Hospices flowers on a table

We’re here to support patients and their loved ones

As a modern British society, talking about death is very often a taboo subject and many people have very little direct exposure to the dying process, making the grieving process all that more difficult. But at our hospices we do get asked is “what actually happens when someone is dying?” or “what are the signs of end of life?”.

As well as providing our specialist care for our patients, our support extends to the patient’s family, carers and friends. We have specialty doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, allied healthcare professionals and family support counsellors who work together as one team.

If you have a question about any aspect of the care and support we provide, including questions about Death and Dying, please speak to a member of our team who will be happy to take the time to explain what you need to know.

What happens when someone is dying?

We know how difficult and sometimes distressing it can be not knowing what is happening to a loved one as the reach the end of their life and we know that explaining what is happening simply and clearly makes a difference and helps ease your worries.

We’d like to thank Dr Kathryn Mannix for giving her consent for us to use this short animated film “Dying for Beginners”, made with Emily Downe and Theos Think Tank, which which guides you gently on a step by step journey through the process of dying.

About Dr Mannix

Acclaimed author, speaker and former palliative care physician Dr Kathryn Mannix has spent her medical career working with people who have incurable, advanced illnesses. The author of two Sunday Times Bestsellers – With The End in Mind and Listen, Dr Mannix is on a mission to reclaim the public’s understanding of dying.

Death and Dying

Other sources of information on Death and Dying

If you’d like to find out more about Death and Dying, we recommend taking a look at the following.

Death and Dying Recommended Reading

“With the End in Mind” by Dr Kathryn Mannix

“Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande

Information about Death and Dying on YouTube

Hospice Nurse Julie is a US based nurse with a passion for education. With years of experience in intensive care and hospice care nursing, she’s passionate about educating people on the death and dying process and helping them through it.

Her YouTube channel hosts frank but honest videos which answer many of the questions you may be afraid to ask.

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The Cornwall Hospice Care Podcast

Our own podcast “Two Old Choughs: A Tale of Two Hospices” includes 2 episodes recorded with our Patient & Family Support team about how they work with family and friends to help people come to terms with their loved ones illness and death.

Click the play buttons below to listen.

You can find lots more episodes of our podcast featuring history, stories and news from around our charity HERE.

Other Death and Dying Recommended Podcasts

Have a listen to Hospice UK‘s Dying Matters podcast, by clicking the button below.

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Hospice UK’s Dying Matters campaign is working with hospices to create an open culture in which we’re comfortable talking about death, dying and grief. Every year, people around the country use Dying Matters Awareness Week as a moment to encourage all communities to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them.  The next Dying Matters Awareness Week will be 6th to 12th May 2024.

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Read our guides

We also have written our own guides for patients and for carers to help you understand and come to terms with what happens as someone nears the end of life.  You can view them below.  If you’d like a printed copy these are available at our two hospices.

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