For 30 years I worked at the bedside of people who were dying. I was privileged to be a private palliative care nurse and could walk this final journey with those in my care by responding to their choices, beliefs and values in a way that gave the person a sense of purpose and meaning. This required integrity and a sound knowledge of the principles and practice of palliative care, and what was legal and what was not.

Being in the presence of death is a learning experience like no other. Yet death is not a popular topic in aged care communities.