This Dying Matters Week we are releasing a series of blogs, sharing reflections on the experiences of some members of staff and patients at Royal Trinity Hospice and the insights they have gained about what is most important in life through their encounters with dying. 

So, what does dying teach us about…. 


Mahatma Ghandi once said: The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” That is because forgiving is hard. Whether that is forgiving someone who has hurt you or forgiving yourself.  

However, it is important to remember that carrying negative feelings around with you robs you of energy and takes a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. When faced with death, many people reflect on the things that they regret or hold resentment for, and giving or seeking forgiveness can help people to feel at peace at the end of their life. So, what have members of the Trinity staff learnt from supporting people at this point in their life? And what can we all learn from their insights? 

Amy (Consultant in Palliative Medicine) 

‘I think this can be challenging and sadly for some patients the dying process amplifies a range of challenges in their personal relationships. This can include estrangement from family and friends and conflict regarding financial arrangements including leaving a will. For those patients who understand and accept that they are dying, this can be an important time to heal rifts with family and friends and to resolve issues that have been troubling them for some time.’ 

Vincent (Healthcare Assistant) 

‘I think that one of the greatest struggles of coming to terms with having to die is to forgive yourself. Forgiveness from others is important too, but essentially it is about how we feel about ourselves that we need to carry with us until the very end. Maybe we have people that we want to forgive before we go - then we will want to do so in one way or another, even if we don't get to see them physically. Ultimately, it is about being able to let go.’ 

David (Healthcare Assistant) 

Always try to make peace with any family member. None of us know what is around the corner, we always need someone by our side. 

Read part 1 of our Words of Wisdom blog here