This has been one of the harder blog posts to write, and therefore a big reason for my recent lack of posts which many of you have noticed. I’m finding it hard for several things that I am struggling to express or get my head around, but also I feel the absolute need to do this justice.
One of the main aspects of this I am finding tough is to find an appropriate title. I’m still not happy, but there’s a few things I need to explain. The ultimate form of dignity up can give someone when dead is to treat them how they wanted to be treated. I do feel like I’m being cryptic now, so I need to elaborate on what I mean by this.
Lately, there has been a lot of discourse and conversation around trans people, or those identifying as non-binary, and their rights in all aspects of life. A lot of people seem to openly and freely express that they do not acknowledge these rights, quite notably the recent opinions made very public by a certain author which I do not wish to delve further into here but can be easily googled. What I need to acknowledge myself is that I have witnessed two conversations around this relating to death in recent times and I have been utterly saddened by what I have seen. I would like to add here that I do not feel that this is the opinion held by the majority of death industry workers by any stretch but it does need addressing even when present in a minority.
The impact on me of being witness to these upsetting opinions is that I feel the need to state the following. I sit firmly on the side which wants to know your pronouns in life. I want to know how you identify so I can respect you as I should, and this is applicable in death as it would be in life. It seems nonsensical to me that it wouldn’t be.
There are, and I have, so many thoughts and feelings around this that I cannot summarise them effectively here. What I want to say as a priority is to tell people that they should not fear being referred to incorrectly once they have died. However this does require having been communicative about it before death, because we can only know what we have been told about the deceased by themselves prior to death or by others after they have died.
I struggle to be able to write anything further on this but I would welcome any further information if anyone has any or would like me to signpost anything in a future post. Although I like to think that people have always had the ability to identify how they wish, I know this is not the case and I too know that we are experiencing only the beginning of this becoming more widely accepted in our society.
So tell me your pronouns, and I’ll tell you mine.