Dying to Know Day 2018

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TIME TO ACT: Dying to Know Day, or D2KDay, is aimed at encouraging people to talk about end-of-life and its planning. More information at dyingtoknowday.org

TIME TO ACT: Dying to Know Day, or D2KDay, is aimed at encouraging people to talk about end-of-life and its planning. More information at dyingtoknowday.org

YOU might not be prepared for life, but you can certainly plan your own death.

After all, we only live – and die – once.

Dying to Know Day, held on August 8, is a nationwide campaign aimed at starting a conversation about end-of-life care, death and loss.

There is a gradual change in how we view death and more openness towards its inevitability.

“Many people want to remember and celebrate a life, rather than mainly mourning a death,” Australian Funeral Directors Association junior vice-president Adrian Barrett said. 

The national funeral service organisation has just conducted a survey on the wishes of loved ones once a person has died.

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Funeral directors across the country are noticing more people are opting for services to be conducted in alternative venues, such as a civic centre, park or sporting club and often with a celebrant to officiate.

“There’s also a push for a more sustainable model of burial, where the body is buried in a shallow grave, contained either in a shroud or biodegradable coffin, with their grave often marked with a GPS location or natural stone,” Mr Barrett said.

He urged families and friends to have an open conversation surrounding death and bereavement, action endorsed by D2KDay.

“It’s always a good idea for families of a deceased loved one to ... talk among themselves and agree to a day of burial, type of service, time and location,” Mr Barrett said.