Letter: Death is not taboo

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The Independent Online
Sir: I must write to say how astonished I am by Angela Lambert's piece on bereavement (28 February), my own experience as a widow of five months being so at odds with what she describes.

Only yesterday I was telling a weekend visitor that the received idea of death being taboo, and of the bereaved being shunned, had been completely contradicted by what I myself have found from the beginning. Rather than crossing the street to avoid me, people have crossed it to say they are so sorry and how am I managing? In the shops (I live near a small town), everyone shows sympathy. The wonderful flood of letters was added to by the many friends who rang up, not just at first (and I was surprised by how much I welcomed this; I had thought it might prove overwhelming and had always hesitated to telephone hitherto: not any more), but continuously, at intervals since, to find out how I am. I have been asked out to meals, to parties, to concerts and the cinema - all gratefully accepted with great enjoyment. The help this has been has been incalculable.

As far as I am concerned, the taboo of death does not exist. I am sure my experience must be widely shared.

Yours faithfully,


Wooler, Northumberland

28 February