Death is something that sparks fear and brings up painful memories for many. But I recently learned that conversations around this topic are starting to change.

This week I spoke to experts about a shift that’s happening around our comfort with talking about end-of-life wishes, loss, grief and more issues related to death. From new technologies like apps that help you navigate the death of a loved one to new professions like death doulas that help guide families through loss, our society’s view of death as a topic that shouldn’t be spoken about until absolutely necessary is shifting.

Awareness and support around dying has led to things like prolonged grief becoming a distinct, diagnosable disorder as well as employers recognizing the need for bereavement support services. But we’ve just begun to scratch the surface. When it comes to talking about grief, experts says there’s a lot more we need to be doing.

What was so eye-opening – and comforting – to me was how beneficial these conversations can be both for myself and my loved ones. By understanding and preparing for this unavoidable event ahead of time, it can make everyone feel at ease and take away extra stress whenever that challenging time does come.