The subject we should be all dying to talk about

Former Land Bank CEO Helena Dolny’s new book underlines the value of engaging in death-in-life conversations

by Sue Grant-Marshall

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."




Ngiphiwe Mhlangu, Mapi, grew up in the township of KwaMashu. Her mother was a life-long teacher who taught many people in the community. Mapi was her youngest, the love-child of a liaison during widowhood, a daughter she treasured and imbued with the deepest sense of self-worth.   Download Full Article PDF

First to know


... when conversations about living meet questions about dying

Tears began to slide silently down my face in this hot Madras airport where the sound of CNN competed with the whirr of the mounted rotating fans. People wiped their faces with dampened cloths. I had an amazing sense of privacy and anonymity in this crowd.