As you may be aware the Burial Group are members and supporters of the Dying Matters organisation which is associated with the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC).
Their mission and purpose is:- “Raising awareness of death, dying and bereavement”. Every year in May they sponsor Dying Matters Awareness Week. Events take place all over the country ranging from talks and teas, to exhibitions and performances. Last year, the NLJC had its own small event when we and Leah got together with members of the community on a Shabbat after the service. We watched a short jokey (yes) video and discussed why death is such a taboo subject how one might get over one’s natural fears and plan for it.
This year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week takes place from 18-24 May 2015 with the theme of Talk, Plan, Live. In other words, think about it, talk about it, don’t be in denial about it, do what you have to do, then get on with your life.
We are not proposing an event this time because too much else is going on in the Community this month. But we do want to remind you about the issues and highlight what is happening in this area.
What follows comes straight from the Dying Matters website, which you can find at http://www.dyingmatters.org/
“ComRes research released for Dying Matters Awareness Week 2014 found:
- Just 36% of adults said they had made a will
- 29% had let someone know their funeral wishes
- 6% had written down wishes or preferences about the care they would want if they couldn’t make decisions
- 51% of people with a partner were unaware of their partner’s wishes
During the week, we will be encouraging members of the public to take five simple steps to make their end of life experience better, both for them and for their loved ones.
- Write your will
- Record your funeral wishes
- Plan your future care and support
- Consider registering as an organ donor
- Tell your loved ones your wishes ”
The Norfolk and Suffolk Palliative Care Academy http://bereadyforit.org.uk/ have arranged an event at the forum in Norwich. This will be on Wednesday 20 May 2015. This is what to expect:
“A host of free activities will take place during the day, including:
- Keynote speech from Baroness Finlay, new Chair of Dying Matters and the National Council for Palliative Care.
- Performances from the “Death in a Nut” puppet show
- Novelist Diana Athill and author Rose Tremain, in conversation about getting “ready for it”
- Workshops on will writing, funerals and advanced care planning
- A Death Café tea party
- Discussion opportunities
In addition, around 20 different organisations will be showcasing their services at the event, which runs from 10am to 4pm. For more information or to book a place at a session: http://bereadyforit.org.uk/dying-matters-event/ ”
We visited the event last year and found that several different organisations had a stall including the Dying Matter organisation itself and the Colney Woodland Burial site, which we wrote about in a recent article.
An artist, who makes decorative papier maché urns to order, showed examples of her work and the Death Café people had a café where you could get tea, coffee, cake and have a chat. The Death Café movement is becoming quite well-known, you’ll meet people there who are quite used to chatting about mortality, grief and every aspect of death and dying.
It was interesting and informative and far from being downbeat and gloomy the visit was an uplifting and positive experience. Do try to go along this year.
Miriam and Sarah
Sarah Boosey: 01362 694071
Miriam Barnett: 01603 615469
Do feel free to talk to us when you see us at shul or to contact us if you would like to consider these issues or have any questions, queries or concerns.
Please also look at the relevant pages on our own website. You can find the Funeral Preferences Form there, too.