When do we start to think about mortality and why?

We take a closer look at our Biggest Ever Survey results

Do you remember how old you were when you first thought about your own mortality? Most of us grow up pushing it out of our mind and try to avoid the subject at all costs, but there are times in our lives when we have to face mortality head on. So why is death so hard to talk about?

According to our research, 91% of Brits have thought about their own mortality and the most common reason is because a family member has died. Other reasons are the reaching of a milestone age and hearing a medical diagnosis of someone we know. It makes sense that these things would drive us to question our own mortality – we don’t talk about death as part of normal day to day conversation so it takes out of the ordinary life events to bring it to mind.

Research also showed that a third of us think about our own mortality at least once a week, starting from the average age of 26. So, with mortality on our mind so much of the time, it’s strange to think that we don’t discuss it. It may feel natural to be more comfortable talking about death as we get older, and our survey results certainly reflect this view. We found that people between the ages of 60 & 79 were the most comfortable talking about death, with the youngest shying away from the topic.

So why do we avoid thinking and talking about death? Is it superstition or fear of tempting fate?

As with all things, the best way to demystify and make anything less scary is to bring it out into the open and talk about it. Making open discussions the norm means everyone is free to say what worries them or what they want to happen when they die. Talking about these matters well in advance allows everyone to feel a little bit more prepared for the future, rather than panicking when decisions need to be made quickly at the time.

David Collingwood, our Director of Funerals, said: “Our survey shows that whilst mortality is something we often think about, it’s not something we’re willing to open up and talk about.

‘’With over 18 million people uncomfortable talking about death, many of us are having those conversations because we feel they are too difficult to broach or we don’t want to upset people. The reality of it is, if we start to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement now, it’ll remove some of the emotional burden for our loved ones further down the line.’’

To find out more about our Biggest Ever Survey, follow this link.

For further information contact

Sarah Pyatt

Press Officer