Dying Well

YPRL Staff

28 July, 2022

It's time to get dead set.

to feel more comfortable about the uncertainty and finality of death.

to have the most important conversation you’ve never had.

to find your positive state of preparedness around end-of-life.

to normalise and reshape how we all approach end-of-life.

- Death Cafe - Bringing Death to Life

It happens to all of us - some sooner, some later - dying is an unavoidable outcome of life.   

As a community we can struggle to talk about death and dying but the growing concept of ‘dying well’ has opened up opportunities to have conversations about dying and planning for death. We can learn to feel more comfortable about the uncertainty and finality of death and to broach it with our loved ones, who are often called upon to make important decisions on our behalf.   

This openness can give people facing death, and those around them, choice, dignity, and support to think about their physical, personal, social, and spiritual needs at the end of life.  

Having these conversations and making these plans is not easy. ‘Dying to Know Day’ encourages people to come together during August to have conversations around end of life and death. Nillumbik Shire Council is running a Death Café on Thursday August 4.

And if you'd like to know more about the day in general, and all of the resources they have to offer to help you facilitate these discussions, you can check out the Dying to Know Day webpage.

We also have a large number of items in our library collection which may help you understand ‘dying well’ and support you, your family, and friends to talk about and plan for death.

The Lost Art of Dying  : Reviving Forgotten Wisdom  

A Libby eAudio book by L.S. Dugdale, 2020 


This book invites us to reconsider death, death culture, and reflect on how we live each day, including our last.  By confronting our fears, accepting how our bodies age, developing meaningful rituals, and involving our communities in end-of-life care, we can discover what it means to both live and die well.  


A better death : conversations about the art of living and dying well 

A book by Dr Ranjana Srivastava, 2019 


Dr Ranjana Srivastava shares her observations and advice on leading a meaningful life and finding dignity and composure at the end. She writes about strength, hope, and resilience in the face of grief and offers an optimistic meditation on living and dying well. 


Advice for future corpses (and those who love them): a practical perspective on death and dying 

A book by Sallie Tisdale, 2018 


Informed by her many years working as a nurse, with more than a decade in palliative care, Tisdale provides a frank, direct, and compassionate practical perspective on preparing for death, for both those who are dying and those around them.  She offers realistic advice on how to control what you can and make dying easier for yourself and others. Advice for Future Corpses offers the resources and reassurance that we all need for planning the ends of our lives. 


Finishing our story : preparing for the end of life 

A book by Gregory L. Eastwood, 2019 


This book helps us think clearly about the choices and issues we will face at the end of life.  With sensitivity and insight, Eastwood guides us through all the important questions about death and dying in straightforward, clear language, enhanced by real-life stories. 




Let's talk about death (over dinner) : an invitation and guide to life's most important conversation  

A book by Michael Hebb, 2018 


Michael Hebb cofounded the organisation ‘Death Over Dinner’ that encourages people to pull up a chair, break bread, and really talk about the one thing we all have in common – our eventual death. ‘Let's talk about death (over dinner)’ offers practical advice on how to have these conversations.  Hebb shares time- and dinner- tested prompts to use as conversation starters, ranging from the spiritual to the practical; from the analytical to the downright funny and surprising.


We're all going to die 

A book by Leah Kaminsky, 2016. Also available as an eBook (Libby). 


Leah Kaminsky is an award-winning writer and an Australian GP, who is confronted by death and mortality on a daily basis. She sees - and shares - our fears of death and dying. But she also sees some inspiring people, whose response to their imminent death is to choose, instead, to consciously embrace life 




Approaches to Dying Well 

A Kanopy streaming film, 2017  

None of us can avoid dying. But some believe we can learn how to die well. Professor Berkson introduces you to ways that others have faced death and considers some of the practical ways we can make the best of our deaths when our time comes. 

Part of a ‘The Great Courses’ streaming course about Death, Dying, and the Afterlife which can also be found on Kanopy .


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