A campaign is being launched to encourage people to talk about death in a bid to break the taboo of preparing for bereavement.
The Co-op said it is holding the biggest ever survey into dying with the aim of engaging at least 20,000 adults over the next few weeks.
We know that talking about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to haveRobert MacLachlan, Co-op
Research by the Co-op showed that half of people believe more open conversations about death would have helped them cope with the loss of a loved one.
Most people believe talking about death should become more normal, said the Co-op, which is working with a number of charities on the new campaign.
Robert MacLachlan, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare, said: “We know that talking about death is one of the hardest conversations people have to have.
“It’s a huge national issue and that’s why we’re encouraging the nation to get talking about this important subject, as a huge number of us believe the way we approach it needs to change.
“If we had more open conversations about this topic, just think of the positive outcomes that could be achieved.
“Making arrangements for a loved one’s funeral is a huge responsibility, with everyone having their own personal wishes.
“No-one likes to think about their own mortality, but having a discussion and planning ahead can have huge benefits in terms of being able to do the right thing for loved ones when the time comes.”
Heidi Travis, chief executive of the Sue Ryder charity, commented: “Death is an inevitable part of all our lives, and yet in modern society we have become far more distanced from the first-hand reality of it.
“It has become a taboo subject that many of us find difficult to broach.
“This new survey will help give us a provocative insight into how we deal with grief as a nation.”