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.