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It’s time to end the silence around death. Start the conversation. 

For many, death can be a scary topic, and you might think, why talk about something so sad? But talking about dying or death won’t bring it any closer. However, it will help to plan for life and help you and those around you, make the most of the time that you do have.

We sat down with sisters Rosie and Jean; new parents Greg and Hannah; and co-workers Tim and Matthew as they picked questions out of a goldfish bowl to help them start the conversation about what they want when they die. You can watch all these videos on this web page. They've started the conversation - will you?

St Helena can help you to feel empowered and confident to talk about dying, death and grief; to ask questions; to listen; and to be sure of what you and your loved one want when your time comes.

We understand it can be a difficult subject to approach and you may not know where to start. To help, we have a 'conversation starter pack' with some suggested questions to get you started. Tim Leeson, our spiritual care lead, has also written a blog to give you some help and tips on how to start and have these conversations. 

If we are too scared to talk about death; don’t understand dying; or refuse to talk about grief, how can you react with compassion when loved ones need support? Please join the conversation.

Download the Conversation Starter Pack Read our blog

Rosie and Jean start the conversation

Conversation starter pack

Download here


Support in your community

Compassionate Communities in Colchester and Tendring also provides support to help you start the conversation with loved ones and to help you feel better equipped to support those close to you who are facing dying, death or bereavement.

Learn more about compassionate communities

Scared about saying the wrong thing?

If you’re concerned about saying the wrong thing or want to know how to talk to and comfort someone nearing the end of life or grieving the death of a loved one, come along to one of our FREE Compassionate Conversations training sessions.

Held every month, both online and in person, these are open to anyone. 

Find out more about compassionate conversations

Is your workplace compassionate?

St Helena can provide compassionate workplace training to help managers to better support their workforce if/when they experience dying, death or bereavement. Included in the training is advice and guidance around the development of organisation practices and policies, in partnership with HR services.

To find out more, please get in touch by emailing  

Planning future care if you become unwell

At St Helena, we empower people living with an incurable illness to plan ahead, share their choices and achieve their wishes; enabling them to die well with dignity and choice in their preferred place of care.

By having these important conversations with loved ones and healthcare professionals, and recording their wishes on the My Care Choices Register, they can be confident that everyone looking after them knows the care they want.

Learn more about My Care Choices

Help us support more local people to live and die with dignity and choice

Make a donation

Greg and Hannah start the conversation

Tim and Matthew start the conversation

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