An ‘elephant in the room’ has landed in London after research finds that death is one of the biggest and most difficult topics that Brits don’t want to discuss.The campaign shows a giant elephant quite literally in a room against the backdrop of London’s Tower Bridge and hopes to get Brits to start more conversations about death and take part in the biggest-ever survey into death, dying and bereavement.
Co-op Funeralcare are partnering up with the UK’s leading bereavement charity, Cruse Bereavement Support to try to understand and uncover the reason that stops us from discussing difficult but important topics such as death and bereavement. Preliminary research has already found that 32 million Brits don’t want to talk about death showing just now necessary support is needed in order for people to talk more openly about death.
Although 30 million UK adults (54%) have experienced the loss of a loved one in the last five years, death remains a topic that many would rather not talk about, ahead of money trouble (25%), religion (17%) and politics (13%). The research also found that a combined two-thirds of those surveyed avoided the topic altogether, as they didn’t want to think about the death of their loved ones or upset others with the subject. However, over half (56%) say having more open conversations about death and dying would make them more open to discussing their funeral wishes with a loved one.
Gill Stewart, Managing Director at Co-op Funeralcare said, “Taking that step and talking to loved ones about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have, but it’s a topic that so greatly needs normalising. If the time comes and no plans have been put in place a lot of decisions are left for your loved ones – and that can add a daunting element to an already difficult time.
“It’s not every day you see an elephant in the middle of London – let alone one this big – but we wanted to do something memorable to create a buzz and invite people to take the survey to get the discussion started.”
As part of the initiative, Co-op Funeralcare also teamed up with Kelsey Parker, widow to The Wanted band member Tom Parker and Campaigner. Kelsey commented: “I know from personal experience just how difficult losing a loved one is, and how hard it can be to plan and put together the perfect funeral for them while trying to grieve. The one bit of advice I can give, and I hope people take away from this experience, is to just be open and talk to loved ones about your wishes so that when the time comes, they are prepared.
“Funerals don’t have to be such a scary thing; they can be personal and bring comfort and closure, but we just need to address the elephant in the room and get the conversation started.”
To take part in Co-op Funeralcare’s survey on death, dying and bereavement, head here.