It is a simple truth that we are all going to die. But do we have the courage to have conversations about death, dying and what we would want at the end of our lives?
Our podcast series, Time to Talk, aims to equip people to have these important conversations. The podcasts are hosted by Bill Turnbull, the well-known TV presenter and Patron of the Anne Robson Trust who is himself living with cancer.
In our first series of Time to Talk, Bill Turnbull chats to a cross section of people about their personal and professional experiences.
We hope these conversations will inform and inspire you to sit down with your nearest and dearest, have the conversation about what you and they would want at the end of your lives, write it down – and then put it away and live life to the full."
Set up in 2018, the Anne Robson Trust works to provide comfort and support for people who have a family member or friend coming to the end of their life.
In this episode, Bill chats to founder Liz Pryor about why there is a need to talk about dying.
What kind of things do we need to talk about? And why are people reluctant to talk about death?
As someone living with cancer, Bill discusses how talking about death can bring enlightenment and comfort, and encourages listeners to try to talk to family: it’s a practical thing to do, it lets them know your wishes – and it really does help.
For many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought our fears and anxieties around death, dying and bereavement to the fore – in particular, that our opportunity to say goodbye to someone we love might be taken away.
In this episode, Nick and Bill talk about why the pandemic is making it more important than ever to talk about and share your last wishes with family.
Nick talks with Bill about the most difficult conversation he ever had with his wife: discussing her last wishes before she died.
He shares some of the details around end of life and the comfort those details can bring, including music and playlists for funerals.
Bill talks to David, who coordinated Chris Evan’s Mum’s funeral and is now referred to as ‘Mr Funeral’ by Chris Evans.
David shares his personal perspective on how he sees death and encourages listeners to find the opportunity to talk and tell family what they would want for a funeral.
He believes it’s a healthy conversation to have, even if it is only to let family members know their preference on burial or cremation.
In his experience, it gives family members so much comfort to know they are following a loved one’s last wishes.
Nancy is Director for Infection Prevention and Control and Executive Lead for Patient Experience and Engagement at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.
Bill chats with Nancy about the nursing challenges that Covid-19 has brought and what people can expect if they or a family member have to go to hospital during the pandemic.
Nancy expresses her belief that the best psychological preparation for coping with some of the fear and anxiety Covid-19 brings is to have conversations with loved ones about last wishes whilst everyone is well.
In this episode, Roy chats very openly to Bill about his personal experience of his father dying in hospital 25 years ago and his belief that it is possible for society to recognise death and dying more, and to do it better.
Roy recommends some steps we can all take, should someone we love fall ill during the Covid-19 crisis.
Their conversation highlights the importance of end of life care and the importance of recognising the need for grieving and bereavement.
Rachel shares some powerful stories of the exceptional human behaviour that she has witnessed during this time of coronavirus.
She chats to Bill about why having the conversation about what a person would wish for at the end of their life is so important as an act of care, compassion and love for family members, and helpfully offers some practical tips about how to start this very difficult conversation.
Bill also asks Rachel to explain Do Not Resuscitate orders in depth for us.
Dame Esther Rantzen is a TV broadcaster, journalist and founder of the ChildLine and Silver Line Charities.
She engages in a lively chat with her daughter, Rebecca Wilcox, and Bill about the fear of loneliness and the fear that Covid-19 has brought to the older generation.
Esther and Rebecca open up about how they have not yet had the conversation about last wishes and what Esther would want to happen should she become ill.
Bill shares with Esther his thoughts about his own relationship with death since being diagnosed with an incurable disease and hopes that this might help Esther to discuss with her family her own thoughts and wishes about dying.