Before Forever After: When Conversations About Living Meet Questions About Dying Helena Dolny Staging Post It’s always too soon, until it’s too late. That’s the mantra of American NGO The Conversation Project, created to help people talk about how and where they hope to die. They could be struggling to stay alive at all costs in hospital, surrounded by beeping machines or in the familiar comfort of home surrounded by those they love. Most people hope for good deaths — except for comedian Woody Allen, who wittily observed that he’s not afraid to die: "I just don’t want to be there when it happens." Helena Dolny conducted eight years of exhaustive trans-continental research on the topic of dying. She interviewed lawyers, palliative caregivers, social workers, spiritual advisers, priests, funeral undertakers and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu — "everyone who might have a hand in how we live and how we die", she says. "We need to engage in death-in-life conversations as part of everyd...

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