Case Stories of transnational dying for teaching and training

The case stories that you will read, watch and hear are based upon my interviews with migrants to the UK and with health and social care professionals. The stories are of varying lengths and complexity. They can be used in introductory, intermediate and advanced teaching or as a part of more informal conversations, such as in death cafes. Some of the stories are a composite drawn from different interviews and others are based upon one person's account.

The three longer case stories are also available as audio-files.

You can download a learning resources handout here to help you use the case stories.

Two Sighs - Case Stories Film

Two Sighs is a 9 minute film, featuring two stories and a poem about social pain. The first story 'Fields' is based on an interview with Harshini, a migrant from India, who cares for her mother who has dementia. 'At times there are great difficulties for us' Harshini says. 'Although she is here, in her mind she always thought that she was back home. She was always talking about India. She would wake up early in the morning and tell me “I’m going to the fields” and she would open the door and walk out and that was really scary.'

The poem 'Dust to Dust' was inspired by an interview with a man dying from Jamaica with lung disease. He felt that the disease had been caused by his exposure to asbestos during his working life as a builder. At the time when I interviewed him, he was finding it difficult to breathe and when he talked about his wish to die in the Caribbean, his narrative was full of imagery of open spaces and nature.

The last scene in the film is taken from a focus group interview with hospice nurses. In this scene, the nurse remembers a Ugandan patient who did not speak English, with possible AIDS-related dementia. This story can be used to talk about professional experiences of intercultural care and of witnessing the social pain of others.