Work relating to death does not have to be miserable

Good death week web

Mark Hazelwood, chief executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care and Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief says he is enjoying living life

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28th May 2018 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

What makes a good day at work?

People sometimes think that work relating to death, dying and bereavement must be unrelentingly miserable, but most days are good!  The people I work with are talented, committed and fun to be with and together we can make a profound difference to people facing the most difficult of circumstances.

How many hours do you normally work in a week?

About 40ish. I don’t believe in long hours cultures. The top five regrets of dying people are said to include having worked too much.

What do you procrastinate over?

Can I come back to that tricky question later? But I have got around to making a will and a power of attorney. Have you?

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

Very occasionally I shout at dysfunctional technology. Technically a lot of what I do loosely relates to having “one foot in the grave”.

Mark Hazelwood

Mark Hazelwood

Is the third sector a calling or an accident?

Causes inspire me, not sectors. Death and loss affect everyone – that’s one huge and important cause.

What happens during your perfect weekend?

A run in the Pentlands. Trump is jailed. A meal with the whole family. Arsenal win the league. A Bank Holiday Monday.

What’s your favourite album?

“Want” by Rufus Wainwright. Sometimes his songs are like hearing music in colour when everything else is in black and white. I’d like it played at my funeral.

Would we all be better off if charities did more in our society?

Not necessarily. I’ve huge respect for public sector managers and their achievements in the face of adversities.

What’s your new year’s resolution?

I don’t think I even made any resolutions this year. I’ve always forgotten them by May.

Do people in Scotland need to talk more about death?

People should have opportunities to learn and think about the hidden topics of end of life and bereavement, and chances to take useful practical steps. Talking about death may be part of this but it’s not an end in itself – that would just be weird!

What do you think are the main strengths of the Scottish charity sector?

Creativity and open mindedness.

Is this a step on the ladder or your final destination?

My final destination is the grave and I’m currently living my one wild and precious life.

What does your dream retirement look like?

I’m far too young to dream of retiring.

Brian Denis Cox or Brian Edward Cox?

The one I’ve heard of, but not really sure which one that is.