A study by Pure Cremation has found that 62 percent of Brits aged 18 to 25, otherwise known as Generation Z, are comfortable talking about death and have had conversations about mortality.
Some 45 percent of respondents in this age bracket said they were more likely to turn to a friend when talking about death, while 41 percent said they would confide in their mum. Young people are less likely to speak to their dads about death, with only 30 percent of respondents saying so. Some 35 percent said they would turn to a grandparent while 32 percent would confide in a sibling.
Furthermore, 60 percent of young Brits were more comfortable talking about their own death, than someone else’s (54 percent).
While almost two-thirds of Brits say they would find it ‘very stressful’ to arrange a funeral without knowing what kind of send-off their loved ones wanted, the study suggested that millions of Baby Boomers will have seen their parents pass without knowing their final wishes.
Among the younger respondents, 49 percent admitted to finding the conversation ‘sad’, 41 percent ‘scary’, 33 percent ‘difficult’ and 33 percent ‘uncomfortable’.
In contrast, the over 65s were more likely to describe the conversation of death as ‘necessary’ (57 percent), ‘important’ (50 percent) and ‘natural’ (39 percent).
The older generation is only slightly better prepared for the end than young people today, with 16 percent of over 65s saying they avoid talking about death because they haven’t thought about their final wishes, whereas one in five of 18 to 24 year olds revealed they haven’t made a plan for their own send-off.
And both generations do have something in common; the main reason they gave for not talking about death is that ‘the idea of death is scary’.
The research revealed the part technology might play in breaking down the taboo of death. Some 51 percent of 18 to25 year olds would consider discussing the subject via an online forum, with 44 percent willing to use an app and 41 percent opting for Skype or FaceTime.
Catherine Powell, co-founder and director of Pure Cremation, said: “These findings show that while avoidance of talking about dying is an epidemic among the over 65s, this age group has the best understanding of the value of the conversation.
“Although there is still a lot of work to be done to remove any fear and awkwardness around the subject, it is hugely encouraging that a brave new generation of young people are up for tackling this challenge – and the great news is they are actually getting on with it and talking about the fact that eventually, our time will come to an end.”