It is Dying Awareness Week in the UK at the moment, and I’ve had to cancel an event, ‘Pushing Up The Daisies’ that was planned locally. Why?
Because members of the public complained to the landlord of the empty shop in which the event was being held. They were distressed by the window display, which included a wicker coffin.
It seems ironic that in this week of all weeks it is due to objections about a coffin – something we will all need.
Of course, I am really sad that this has caused distress to some. Perhaps there were ways in which we could have been more sensitive about it. But maybe, just maybe, this turn of events will in fact bring more awareness due to the publicity around the event being cancelled!
The purpose of the week is to bring death into the open so people can prepare for it.
Unfortunately, local people will not now have the opportunity to have the conversations and find the information they need to get their affairs in order. This is so important to help reduce the fear of death and ease the grief of loved ones left behind.
My organising colleagues, Kate Clark, nurse and co-founder of http://www.pushingupthedaisies.org.uk , and Karen Collins http://naturallyuseful.co.uk/ , had planned a really interesting array of talks, and we’re all disappointed now that it can’t happen.
Fortunately for local people, I’m running a local workshop for people who want to take action on being prepared for their own end of life: “Before I Go: Practical Questions to Ask and Answer Before You Die” is in Forres on 21st May. Visit bigforres.eventbrite.co.uk for more information.
Other talks would have been about Speaking to Children/Creating Memories, by Jill Stewart of CLAN; Green Burial – What’s Different by Green Burial Site co-ordinator Will Russell; Funerals Don’t Have to Be Dull by interfaith minister Eve Baillie; How to Save £2000 on Your Funeral; and Caring for A Body At Home After Death.
All fascinating topics (at least to my mind!) and ones that we need to know more about if we are to have any sense of real choice about end of life matters.