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What is happening during Dying Matters Week

Author: Leila Hawkins
08 May 2017

This week is Dying Matters Week, a week of events to encourage people to talk more openly about dying, death, and bereavement. This year the theme is “What Can You Do?” aiming to get people thinking about plans for the end of life. <br /><br />Hospices, churches, art galleries and community centres are hosting a wide variety of events, from friendly discussions about death while eating cake, to workshops providing help with will writing, film screenings and talks. There are more than 200 events taking place - here are a few of the highlights.

St Giles Hospice is hosting “Songs to live, love and laugh by” featuring the St Giles Choir and the Pelsall Community Choir on May 9. Other events include a talk by a funeral celebrant, an ‘Understanding Bereavement’ working lunch on Wednesday 10 and a “Grave Talk” coffee morning on Friday 12.

St Barnabas Hospice will host a Death Café on Sunday 14, where anyone is welcome to join the group for an informal talk over tea and cake.

The University of Bath’s Centre for Death & Society is running an advisory session specifically for families or individuals who have found themselves in the media. Called “Bereavement under the spotlight – supporting people suddenly bereaved in high profile cases” and taking place on May 9, it will advise families on how to deal with the media.   

The Centre is also looking to start a series of community events around the topic of death, dying and bereavement starting in autumn, for more information email the Centre for Death & Society.   

A Matter Of Life And Death is a brand new arts festival taking place in Birmingham this week. Highlights include an interactive eat-along experience exploring the history of funeral food, a willow coffin weaving workshop, a ‘Death Disco’, and a visit to a natural burial ground and crematorium.

Pushing up the Daisies, A Festival for Living and Dying is a week-long festival taking place in Narberth, Wales.  There’ll be a tour of Narberth Crematorium, ‘Paint Your Own Coffin’ activities, and film screenings.

Coles Miller Solicitors, based in Bournemouth and Broadstone,  is offering 30 minutes of free legal advice all week to help with issues like Wills,  Tax and Trusts.

Commenting on Dying Matters Week, Ian Leech, Community Engagement Manager for St Giles Hospice, said:

“Death and dying have always been difficult subjects to bring up, and even though our society has got more open about many things, they remain taboo subjects for many people. But it’s never too soon to start conversations about plans for end of life care and people’s choices around death and dying. “

“Having these open conversations with family and friends as well as healthcare and legal professionals can ensure that people’s wishes are known and recognised at the end of their lives.”

“We hope this special week will encourage people to talk to each other about their end-of-life wishes, as well as providing them with information about the choices available.”

For more information, visit Dying Matters

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