Relationship advice given during deathbed conversations

23 August 2015

We've conducted a new survey which has revealed that the majority of end of life conversations between family members contain relationship advice.

Relationships given during deathbed conversations

Almost a quarter of those who had been on the receiving end of deathbed advice stating that their loved one just wanted them to be happy.

The study polled 2,198 British adults, all were aged 18 or over. In order to be eligible for the survey, all participants were in full-time employment and had lost at least one loved one in the past year.

Initially, we asked “Did your loved one give you any advice on their deathbed before their passing?” to which a majority (83%) of respondents indicated that they did, with only 17% saying that they did not.

Those who stated that their loved one did give them advice were then asked to reveal what advice had been given. They were presented with a list of possible topics and were asked to select which their loved one had given them advice on before their passing. They were allowed to select more than one answer. Researchers compiled the results to reveal the most common answers as follows:

  1. Relationship Advice – 62%
  2. Career Advice – 56%
  3. Family Advice – 43%
  4. Education Advice – 39%
  5. Financial Advice – 32%

Following on from this, relevant respondents were asked to reveal the reasons why their loved one had given them the advice that they had done on their deathbed. They were given a list of possible reasons and were asked to select which one applied to them. The top five results were as follows:

  1. They wanted me to be happy – 29%
  2. They wanted me to make a change to my life – 23%
  3. They wanted me to correct my past mistakes – 21%
  4. They didn’t want me to have regrets – 17%
  5. They wanted me to learn a lesson – 6%

Finally, all respondents who said that they had received advice were asked to reveal whether they followed the advice or not. A majority said that they did follow their loved one's advice, with the remaining 44% saying that they either did not/would not follow their loved one's advice or they hadn't just yet but intended to.

When a loved one is close to dying, it's an incredibly raw and emotional time for all involved and many look to give some final pieces of advice to their family before they pass away. Many look to do this because they want their loved one to be happy.

Relationship advice is very common in this situation, as we have seen from our research. This is the final chance to let your loved one know what you think and many take the opportunity to share their thoughts. Whilst relationship advice may be based on ending a relationship with someone, let's not forget it could also be to start a relationship or move to the next stage within a relationship and propose.