What’s in a name: Why is our blog called “Before My Mam Dies”?

Noreen and Una-Minh in Sapa

Noreen and Una-Minh in Sapa- Before My Mam Dies

For many, if you see the word “death”, “dying”, “dies”, “died” in a sentence you’re instantly taken aback. That’s understandable, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

When I, Úna-Minh, came up with the name of Before My Mam Dies, it wasn’t made as a decision to shock people. It was simply what sounded natural for this type of blog. Consider that I could easily have chosen Before I Die or The Bucketlist with pretty much the exact same meaning, so why the aversion to death in a name?

Unfortunately, Irish people tend to treat talking about death like taboo, often leaving the discussion between loved ones to the very end. I don’t want to have that kind of relationship with my Mom.

Automatically many people presume that my she’s dying when they hear the name of the blog, (I’ve even got messages of sympathy), but it’s nothing like that. Quite simply, the blog aims to document all of our travel adventures and the conversations we have before my Mam dies.

The fact is this: we don’t know when we’re going to die. And this is about having a positive perspective.


This quote for me rings true: 

“Be sure to spend time with your parents while you can. Because one day when you look up from your busy life, they won’t be there anymore”


“Do you know what your parents/parent’s final wishes are?”

“Do you know what their favourite colour is?”

These are the kind of questions I think are so important to be open about. In fact, they are so simple to ask and are questions that have brought myself and Mom even closer.

I think Brian from BottleCap Travels described it well when he wrote about this blog: “Una-Minh and her mum have an admirably open outlook on the reality of death and accepting its inevitability. Together they are celebrating the precious time they have together, rather than running away from the fear of separation”.

It’s only in recent years that we’ve gotten to a stage where more people are opening up about mental health issues; we still haven’t got to that stage yet when it comes death.

So before you have the urge to send me a message and say the name is “terrible” or “insensitive”, try to understand where we’re coming from. I understand that this mightn’t be your cup of tea (and that’s ok!). Remember, that this isn’t about you.

In our blog, you’ll find our travels, favourite things and yes, frank talk about death. But it’s more positive than you think. Ultimately Before My Mam Dies is a celebration of life. It is a celebration of mothers and daughters. It is a celebration of our adventures and our relationship – before we die.

Read more about us here. You can connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat.

Mom-waving-at-the-beach-Before My Mam Dies

Una-Minh

Hello! Úna-Minh is a journalist, social media consultant and virtual assistant who loves (you guessed it) TRAVEL. She also feels a bit strange writing in the third person so she'll stop that now. You can find out more about me and my Mammy in the about section of this blog!

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9 Comments

  1. You just did right, by choosing a name you chose for yourself and not to please others. I wish you and your Mum a great travelling time!

    1. Thank you so much! Names for blogs are so important I think… 🙂

      1. Especially if you can explain it, you need think about.it!

  2. Found you on IG. Love about your writing, keep it up and celebrate life ALWAYS.

    1. Thanks so much Davide! That’s cool! Didn’t know if people were clicking through on IG 🙂

  3. I have been following you on Twitter and just clicked in your blog – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this – the name and the reason why and everything. Looking forward to following you and your mam’s adventures xx

    1. Hi Brid! Aw thank you so much and delighted that you like the blog and its name. It’s a bit of a marmite issue for some people but I have to do what I feel is right I think with this! Thank you for your message 🙂

  4. Heard you today on Ray Darcy radio show . What an inspiration you are . I can’t wait to read your book and intend getting copies as Xmas gifts . I know some friends who would love to read your story . By the way … you have beautiful Irish too . So easy to understand you .

    1. Thank you very much Mary for taking the time out to comment and many thanks for your support 🙂

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