Throughout Dying Matters Awareness Week we’ve been asking pertinent questions about preparing for end-of-life: Are you ready to talk about… Advance Care Planning, who will look after your pets, and preparing to say goodbye?

Settling practical issues now can reduce anxiety and free up precious time to enjoy what really matters during last weeks and months. With this in mind, today we are asking the powerful question…

‘If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you live it?’

Two members of the Martlets’ hospice team – a social worker and our hospice chaplain – offer insights to start the conversation:

“Some patients have specific things they want to achieve before they die and if something is important to you, it becomes important to us,” says Rene Bennett, social worker at Martlets. “We helped arrange for a patient to do the iDrop abseil down Brighton’s British Airways i360 tower; we also make sure we facilitate family celebrations here at the hospice, enable cherished pets to visit and we’ve even had a wedding.”

Nicholas Roddis, chaplain at Martlets, adds:

“While some people might have a bucket list of things they want to do before they die, for others the emphasis is on spending precious time with loved ones and enjoying the simple things. It is important to realise that it is ok to be ordinary; we don’t have to feel pressure to achieve a list of extraordinary things during last weeks, it is a very individual journey. Often letting go of guilt, making amends, or doing something that has integrity and feels good can bring comfort and peace at this time.”

If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you live it?

A further blog from Nicholas will be published soon, discussing the emotional and spiritual issues that can arise towards end-of-life.