Marie Curie asks Celebrities and the Public to reveal the top things they would like to do before they die.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

More than ever we are reminded of how fleeting life can be, and when we lose those we respect and love through death it acts as a stark reminder of how important it is to live life to it's absolute fullest!!

In my case, while I may have studied law, I've always been totally obsessed with fashion and when I attended my first ever catwalk show, never in a million years did I ever think I would end up living my dream! Becoming a fashion blogger, attending various press days for my favourite labels, catwalk shows and having the opportunity to get to know so many immensely talented professionals, whom I am privileged to call my friends, well it's been an amazing experience!! For me I would love to someday to attend the major Fashion Week's around the world: London, New York, Paris and Milan, who knows if this wee Fashion Blogger form Northern Ireland will ever get to them, but sure a girl can dream!!

What would you love to in your lifetime? Well it's a question that Marie Curie has been asking in a new survey carried out by Marie Curie Cancer Care to mark the end of Dying Matters Awareness Week (18 May). Travelling more, having children, and living abroad have been voted as the top things people in Northern Ireland would like to do before they die, as Marie Ciurie posed this question to the public and some of our much loved celebrities!

“Travel more” was the most common response given in the survey of Northern Ireland adults, with Canada, Australia, and New Zealand cited as the most desirable destinations, along with a round the world trip. “Having children” and “living abroad” were the next most common things people said they would like to do before they die. In comparison to other parts of the UK, Northern Irish respondents were more likely to want to “emigrate”, “learn to dance”, “pay off my debts” and “enjoy life”.

Most common survey responses:

The top things people would like to do before they die:

1. Travel (52%)*
2. Have children (7%)
3. Emigrate / live abroad (6%)
4. Be happy / enjoy life (6%)
5. Win the lottery (6%)
6. Learn to dance (5%)
7. Own / start a business (5%)
8. Pay off my debts (5%)
9. Skydive / parachute jump (5%)
10. See the Northern Lights (4%)
(* including travel more, round the world and to specific destinations)

“Winning the lottery” was one of the most frequently cited aspirations for people in their lifetimes, followed by “own or start a business.” “Do a skydive or parachute jump”, and “see the Northern Lights” also featured amongst the most common responses.

Dying Matters Awareness Week (12-18 May 2014) aims to encourage people to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement and to take small actions to be ready for the end of life, such as writing a will, making funeral wishes known and letting those close to them know how they would want to be cared for.

To mark the week, Marie Curie also asked local celebrity supporters to name the top things they would like to before they die:

Pete Snodden – “Top of my bucket list would be to watch Liverpool win the premier league (that would be superb).  I would also love to travel to Brazil and visit the statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro. If I bumped into the legend Larry King or my footballing hero Steven Gerrard along the way it won’t be too bad either – I’m not asking for much!” 

Pamela Ballantine - “There are so many things I would like to do before I kick the bucket but top of the list would be to be part of the VIP Grid Walk at the Monaco Grand Prix. I would also love to own a top class racehorse and lead it in after it wins a big race at Cheltenham or Aintree - I can only dream.”

Michael Smiley - “I would like to achieve a level of serenity that the idea of death no longer holds any fear and every minute on the planet is pure joy.”
Ricky Tomlinson – “That is an easy one. The most challenging thing on my bucket list is to finish building a fish pond in the garden that I started 10 years ago!”

Jason Isaacs – “Since winning the FA Cup for Liverpool, winning Wimbledon or knocking out Floyd Mayweather are looking slightly less likely with every passing day, and since I’ve already jumped out of a plane without a parachute (the hairy guy clipped to my back had one, naturally), my greatest hope is that, before I go, just once, I can make a would-be joke in public and see my daughters look at me with anything other than total contempt, pity and horror”

Interestingly, some respondents revealed that they had not considered their own death or that they were reluctant, or even superstitious, about thinking about the subject. Responses included, “I’ve not thought about death”; “I’m 74. I don’t intent to die till I’m 95, so I haven’t thought about it” and “I don’t have a bucket list, as if I did tick everything off, would I sit back and wait to die?”

Joan McEwan, Head of Policy and Public Affairs for Marie Curie in Northern Ireland, said: “People in Northern Ireland have a very clear idea of the things they would like to achieve while they are alive. However, we know from previous local research that people in NI are less likely than anywhere else in the UK to feel comfortable talking about death and dying, and are reluctant to make plans for the end of their lives. Without having these crucial conversations with friends and family – such as where people would like to spend their final days - it’s likely that people’s end of life wishes will not be met and they won’t know what care is available to them. It’s an avoidable barrier in an already complex situation and we only die once, so we need to get it right!”

As someone who lost her father as a teenager, I know only too well how out of the blue we can lose those we love, and how fleeting and fragile life truly is. While it might not be the easiest of topics to discuss it is however something we all should discuss and share with our loved ones.

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Massive thanks to Danielle Scullion at Smarts Communicate for the Press Release.

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