Families can be broken by misunderstandings when someone dies.

Conversations around Death and Dying - Wollongong Memorial Gardens

After three decades working at Wollongong City Council’s memorial gardens and cemeteries, Operations Manager John Chilby has told the Illawarra Mercury he’s lost count of the times he’s seen families broken by misunderstandings when someone dies.

“It causes more grief and break-ups between families, so we want to try and prevent things like this from happening when someone dies,” John said.

“I’ve seen it destroy families.”

He’s so right.

To help all of us overcome these tragic and destructive misunderstandings, John will be speaking at a free morning tea and talk to allow people to learn more about legal considerations, managing grief and bereavement, the benefits of memorialisation and the importance of having conversations about death.

The event will be held at Wollongong Memorial Gardens, 176 Berkeley Road Unanderra, from 9.30-11am on March 30.

To read John’s interview in the Illawarra Mercury, go to:

I’ll also be speaking at the event – about why it’s important to have certain conversations about death with our families, even though we’d prefer to avoid them.

In the same vein, National Advance Care Planning Week runs this week, from Monday 21 to Sunday March 27.

Events to promote this are being held all over Australia. For an extensive list of these, go to:

Families can be broken by misunderstandings when someone dies
Advance Care Planning events are being held all over Australia this week.

But as advance care planners point out: “Any time is a good time to start a conversation.”

Read John Chilby’s interview with Good Grief! Memorials During Covid

And did you know, even those with dementia can be involved in advance planning – because it’s not just confined to legal issues where you need to have ‘legal capacity’ to sign papers. For example, they can share their end of life wishes and these can be taken into consideration.

To find out more about that, go to our article, Advance Care Planning and Dementia Patients.

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