Portsmouth residents no longer afraid to talk about death, research finds 

Talking about death is no longer a taboo subject. Picture: Shutterstock
Talking about death is no longer a taboo subject. Picture: Shutterstock
0
Have your say

Death is no longer a taboo subject for people in Portsmouth, according to new research.

A poll of 1,000 people, commissioned by Pure Cremation, found 50 per cent of people in the city have had a conversation with their spouse or partner about mortality. 

Surprisingly, 43 per cent of those in Portsmouth have talked to a friend about death, while just 17 per cent have spoken to their father about the subject.

The research revealed people in Portsmouth are more comfortable talking about their own death, than someone else’s. 

A total of 30 per cent admitted to finding the conversation sad and the same proportion said it was necessary; while 27 per cent said it was uncomfortable and one in five said it was difficult.

Read More: ‘Difficult decision’ to close Portsmouth butcher’s shop after 54 years

Catherine Powell, co-founder and director of Pure Cremation, said: ‘Although there is still a lot of work to be done to remove any fear and awkwardness around the subject, it is hugely encouraging that people in Portsmouth are up for tackling this challenge – and the great news is they are actually getting on with it and talking about the fact that eventually our time will come to an end.’

When it comes to the reasons why people in Portsmouth might avoid conversations about death, almost a third said they side-step the subject as they haven’t thought about their final wishes. 

Read More: Portsmouth remains a magnet for overseas visitors as tourism booms in the city

Naturally, 17 per cent don’t want to upset loved ones with the difficult conversation, and the same amount of people avoid the subject as they find the idea of death scary.

The research revealed the part technology might play in breaking down the taboo of death. 

Almost two thirds of people in Portsmouth would consider discussing the subject via an online forum, with more than four in ten willing to use an app, Skype or FaceTime.  

Sam Owen is a relationship coach and psychologist who has worked with Pure Cremation on its Dead Good Report – a state-of-the-nation report which looks at attitudes to death and dying, and new funeral trends, such as the growth of direct cremation.

He said: ‘We must all be completely honest with ourselves and others when it comes to the subject of death, not least because it is a natural part of life. 

‘I would urge people of all ages to talk about death. 

‘Make it as emotionally comfortable as possible; and use these conversations to give you perspective, motivation and energy – as a reminder of the limited time we all have.

‘Being open about death can prepare us for when a loved one passes, giving us resilience through the grieving process.  Importantly, if you don’t have the big conversation with those close to you, you will miss out on learning what you can do to fulfil the final wishes of your loved ones when the time comes.’ 

To find out more information about Pure Cremation, please visit https://www.purecremation.co.uk/ or call 0800 182 2163. To download the Dead Good Report, please visit www.purecremation.co.uk/thedeadgoodreport