Talking about illness, death or financial problems is never easy. In fact these three things are what the nation as a whole avoid talking about the most according to research from Co-op Funeralcare.

However difficult these conversations are, they are some of the most valuable ones to have. At times the cost of not talking about these issues is far greater, with more than a fifth of us regretting not having a conversation about death and dying with a loved one who has since passed away.

The biggest regrets among us Brits include not telling someone how much they mean to us before they passed away (66%), not apologising for something before it was too late (24%), failing to resolve a rift (22%) and not talking about funeral plans and wishes (17%).

nadia headshotPersonally, I know how important it is to have these tough conversations having experienced loss. With over half of us admitting we avoid difficult conversations, it may seem like there’s never a good time to have these conversations, but it can be easier than you think.

I’m partnering with the Co-op today to encourage you to start a conversation with friends and family, to approach these topics, plan ahead and to make your wishes known. Simply talking to a loved one in a way you know they’ll understand and making sure you’ve got enough time is the best approach.

It’s not easy talking about death, but if you know your own wishes and you tell your loved ones about them now, it can make things much easier for those who care about you at what is already a really sad time.

The top difficult conversations

  • Telling a loved one that someone has died
  • Telling a loved one about a life threatening illness
  • Consoling a loved one after someone has died
  • Ending a relationship
  • Talking to children about a break up
  • Talking to a loved one about going into care/nursing home
  • Talking to children about the birds and the bees
  • Talking about financial problems

The fact that almost a third of people feel like Britain has a problem talking about death compared to other nations means we need to start opening up. To help, Co-op Funeralcare has compiled an online guide to help people approach these discussions. Visit

Nadia Sawalha

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. I have made funeral arrangements for my parents, brother and myself through the Co-op and they were fantastic to deal with. To get those sort of things sorted out at a time when you are not distressed by a bereavement, makes things easier and leaves nobody to foot the bill in future. I am thankful to the Co-op funeral service.

  2. Hi Andrew, I’m sorry to hear this, were you not able to contact the Legal Services team via email? ^Catherine

  3. Interesting, when I asked Coop for help to create mu will, they refused; as my health made it difficult to do this by phone!!! I HAD to go elsewhere, sadly xx


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