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How to have a good death?

Why do so many people struggle to talk about death? And if they do find it difficult, why do they need to learn to talk about it? How to have a good death.

Nearly five years ago Dr Kate Granger was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kate talks to Jenni about her decision to talk publicly about her illness, her wobbly days and being a normal Yorkshire girl.

Research for the Dying Matters Coalition said 32% of British adults think about dying and death at least once a week, but 72% of the public believe that people in Britain are uncomfortable discussing dying, death and bereavement. Do we struggle to talk about these things and if so why? And if we do why do we need to learn to? Rabbi Julia Neuberger & Jenny Kitzinger, Professor of Communications Research discuss.

What image springs to mind when picturing funeral directors - men in black? Not for much longer. Largely excluded from funeral services for a couple of centuries, women are reclaiming their role in the ceremonies we perform for the dead. Gemma O'Driscoll set up her own funeral directors three years ago in South Wales. Its name? Gemma O'Driscoll & daughters. Jo Morris went to meet the seven of them.

Columnist & broadcaster, Emma Freud lost four members of her family quite close together and had to arrange their funerals. She talks about what she learned in that emotional rollercoaster ride. Barbara Chalmers set up in an effort to help people in Emma's situation but also to encourage people to think through and record their own funeral wishes. They join Jenni to share what they think people need to know & remember to plan for.

Available now

45 minutes


  • Kate Granger

    Terminally ill doctor, Kate Granger discusses why she talks publicly about her illness

    Duration: 10:26

  • Talking about death

    Julia Neuberger and Jenny Kitzinger discuss why we find it hard to talk about death

    Duration: 10:17

  • The life of a female undertaker

    Gemma O'Driscoll set up her own funeral directors three years ago in South Wales

    Duration: 11:20

  • Funeral wishes

    Emma Freud and Barbara Chalmers talk about funeral planning for loved ones

    Duration: 09:22

Making an advance decision

How to make an Advance Decision or an Advance Statement:

Lasting power of attorney

How to make, register or end a lasting power of attorney


Role Contributor
Presenter Jenni Murray
Producer Kirsty Starkey
Interviewed Guest Kate Granger
Interviewed Guest Rabbi Neuberger
Interviewed Guest Jenny Kitzinger
Interviewed Guest Gemma O'Driscoll
Interviewed Guest Emma Freud
Interviewed Guest Barbara Chalmers


  • Thu 11 Feb 2016 10:00

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