It’s not what you see in the movies, says Kathryn Mannix.

We love this.

Kathryn Mannix is a palliative care specialist from the UK who we admire. And she’s recently written a book on approaching death, With The End In Mind. This is a similar take to mine – which is not as surprising as it may seem. Because when people study this subject they often reach a similar conclusion – that we could all benefit from a bit more knowledge and learning on this subject. And it needs to be delivered kindly, from the place of humanity, not just authority.

There’s lots of references to the importance of the cup of tea in Kathryn’s work, just as there is in ours.

Kathryn was asked in an interview with Dr Brian Goldman of CBC Radio Canada: “Do you ever find a family who, [when] you use that phrase, “Your dad … is sick enough to die,”  they put up their hands and say, “No, no we don’t want to hear about that”? 

“Yeah, of course, of course,” she responded.

“And I don’t want to be telling them either. So this is about being people, isn’t it? It’s not about being a doctor, I think.

“What generally I do at that point is, I make a cup of tea, because that’s my stock in trade, and we’ll sit down and we’ll talk about the fact that actually, they don’t want to hear about it.”

Here’s another gem from the CBC interview: “Ordinary dying with symptoms, with symptoms well-palliated, is okay. You know, none of us is gonna be in a hurry to go. It’s not going to be your best day, but you have had way worse days in terms of uncomfortable experience than that last day is likely to be.”

Thank you Kathryn!

(I’d like to acknowledge my LinkedIn contact who put me onto this story but the trail’s gone cold…if you’re the one who alerted us and want a shout out, get in touch!)

To find CBC interview with Kathryn, go to:

For a similar Australian discussion asking “Is death painful or more like uncomfortable?”, go to:

For 11 steps to prepare for a good death in Covid-19 times, go to:

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