Bereavement described as 'ultimate taboo topic' in new campaign

A survey found almost three in five people were uncomfortable talking about death.

Bereavement described as ‘ultimate taboo topic’ in new Co-op campaign iStock

Most people say talking about bereavement is the “elephant in the room”, research suggests.

A survey of 1,000 people by the Co-op found that almost three in five were uncomfortable talking about death.

The Co-op has launched a campaign aimed at tackling what it described as the “ultimate taboo topic”.

Co-op Funeralcare installed an 11ft tall inflatable elephant in front of Tower Bridge in London to encourage people to start the conversation about funerals and take part in a new survey into death, dying and bereavement.

Partnering with bereavement charity Cruse Bereavement Support, the survey aims to gather opinions from consumers, funeral directors, Co-op members and colleagues – asking them to give their views on death, bereavement and funeral wishes to uncover what stops people from talking about the topics.

Gill Stewart, managing director at Co-op Funeralcare, said: “Taking that step and talking to loved ones about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have, but it’s a topic that so greatly needs normalising.

“It’s not every day you see an elephant in the middle of London – let alone one this big – but we wanted to do something memorable to create a buzz and invite people to take the survey to get the discussion started.”

Lucy Harmer, chief executive at Cruse Bereavement Support, said: “This research highlights the need for accessible information and support for people struggling with their grief.

“Over half of the UK say they feel that death and bereavement is the ultimate ‘elephant in the room’, yet the same number feel it needs to be talked about openly.”

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