We've all heard the stereotypes... men aren't good with their emotions. Men don't talk about things close to their hearts. It's all 'stiff upper lip' and 'show must go on'. So what happens when a man's dying? Or suffers a bereavement?
What's visible on the outside doesn't always reflect what's going on inside. When a loved-one dies, people rally around, offer their support and try to find some helpful words. It may be a generalisation but men don't find these things particularly easy to deal with.
That's what we're exploring on this 'Art of Dying Well' podcast.
To do this, we have three excellent guests who speak openly and honestly about their experiences. Firstly we hear from Colin Brazier, a senior foreign correspondent and news anchor with three decades of experience covering stories for Sky and in recent times GBNews. Colin's beloved wife Jo died in July 2018 having been given a terminal prognosis for her third-stage breast cancer earlier in the year. Friend and fellow news anchor Julie Etchingham guides us through a fascinating and moving interview.
Podcaster Chris Reeve from the popular Talk Norwich City fan channel joins us for a little 'Death Chatter' and, I'm not going to lie, I shed a few tears. Chris speaks passionately about death and grief, candidly sharing his experiences dealing with the tragedy of his mum's death back in 2014 when he was just 14-years-old. Chris says grief is "the petrol in my fire every single day". Simultaneously uplifting and useful, this 'Death Chatter' is a must-listen.
We finish with the 'Voice from the Bedside Chair' and it's another reach-for-the-tissues interview. Professor Jim McManus, Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire County Council (and newly-elected President of the Association of Directors of Public Health) has sat by many bedsides over the years and gives us an absorbing reflection on how he sees men dealing with death and grief. Not only this, he shares very openly his experience of surviving cancer.
Plenty of wisdom and advice on this 'Art of Dying Well' podcast.