Miriam Margolyes takes a very personal look at ageing and dying in this two-part documentary, Miriam’s Dead Good Adventure.
Death is still a taboo to some but, at 77, Miriam Margolyes says it’s dying that’s the problem.
Visiting a nursing home specialising in caring for those with dementia-related illnesses, she admits she fears “losing myself”.
Seeking alternative ways of ageing, Miriam heads to America, first to Loma Linda in California, where Seventh Day Adventists are living longer lives, then to San Diego to witness a revolution against ageing and death.
As things get progressively weirder, Miriam stays grounded – “I just wondered if I could rinse my radishes?” she asks when visiting a woman who uses “sex magic” to keep herself “youthing”.
As Miriam told TV Times: “For so long, death has been a subject that people couldn’t talk about.
“It makes people embarrassed or nervous, and that doesn’t help anyone.
“I think we should all talk about it, and that’s why I have made this programme. You can’t generalise about death – which is odd, since it’s the most universal experience there is.
“Everyone deals with it differently, and yet it’s the one and only thing that absolutely everyone will go through at some point.”
Asked whether making the programme had changed her view on death, Miriam said, “Yes, it definitely has! I’m less frightened by it now.
“I feel really in awe of the people I met who have faced death so gracefully.
“I’ll never forget the experience and I’ll never forget them.”
Miriam’s Dead Good Adventure concludes next week.