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…. 

Love & Connection 

We are social beings. There is no doubt that our relationships with others remain highly important throughout our lives. Our personalities, values and paths are formed thanks to our interactions and experiences with others and strong connections have huge benefits for our overall wellbeing. This is especially true when we are faced with difficult and stressful situations, such as illness and bereavement. Staff at Trinity have a unique position to support those who are facing one of the most challenging times in life, giving them a window into how important love and connection is. What have they learnt and what can we all apply to our day to day lives? 

Amy (Consultant in Palliative Care) 

‘I often have conversations in which the patient is worried about their loved ones, and the loved ones are worried about the patient, although these concerns are not always shared for fear of upsetting the other person. Personally, I find it heartening to see that when faced with life limiting illness and death, it is often those connections with loved ones that are paramount above all else.’ 

Abbey (Clinical Nurse Specialist) 

‘I think that for some people it can bring people and families together. It makes you think about your family. I find that especially if I am looking after someone who is a similar age to my mum, someone who is close to home. Or if it is someone who is a similar age to me and has a relationship it can make you reflect on that too. I makes me feel grateful for the relationship I have with my family and to make sure I cherish it and don’t take it for granted.’ 

Vincent (Healthcare Assistant) 

‘I believe that love and connection are very special and important aspects of life. We have an intrinsic need for them, but at the same time, our experiences shape the way we perceive them. Everyone has their own love language. For some people, connection requires profound intimacy, while others' needs are satisfied with simple conversations about the weather over a cuppa. We as healthcare professionals can make a real difference here - kindness, open-mindedness, and showing we care are some of our most important qualities. Some people may have never (or rarely) experienced them because unfortunately life does not deal the same cards to everyone, but every single person deserves some degree of love and connection. Lastly, I think that being able to receive (and give!) love as we embark on our final journey can make our passing a blissful and meaningful experience (for ourselves and for the people close to us).’ 

Read the rest of our Words of Wisdom blogs below.

Part 1: Bucket list blog

Part 2: Forgiveness