The people you want there with you

Deciding who you want to be with you when you die is a very personal choice and you might want to talk it through with a member of your care team.

Some people want to be surrounded by a lot of family and friends, while others prefer to have only a partner or close family member with them. If you are in a hospital or hospice, there may be restrictions on the number of people who can visit at once, so it’s worth checking this with your care team.

Some people might be unsure whether you want them to be there and might now want to raise the subject. Some may be worried about how they’ll cope if they are in the room, while others may feel strongly that they want to be with you to say goodbye. Talking about your wishes beforehand means your loved ones know what to expect and can prepare themselves.

If you have children who may not want to be in the room with you, you might also want to ask a family member or friend to come and look after them.

Any special things you’d like

You might want to think about things you’d like to happen in your last few days. This could be a religious or cultural ceremony, listening to music that holds a special place in your heart, or a meditation session.

You may also have readings or prayers, or a poem or story that you’d like to hear while surrounded by your close friends and family. Your care team can contact a chaplain, religious leader or a non-religious celebrant to lead this, or you can have a more informal time when you invite loved ones to share stories of photographs.

Often instead of being a sad occasion, it can be an opportunity to share your love and special moments and memories in your life.

Reviewed September 2015. Next planned review 2017.