Monday 13th May will mark the beginning of this year’s Dying Matters Awareness Week, an event that challenges the status quo around death and dying, prompting people in communities across the UK to have open, honest conversations with one another about these topics. Events will be held across the country to encourage people to get involved and think differently about death, confronting those difficult topics we often shy away from.
Are We Ready?
The theme of this year’s awareness week is ‘Are We Ready?’ – a question that challenges us and that many are keen to avoid. But preparing for death, be it your own or the people you love, can be immensely helping and in some cases, freeing. Not only does it hold practical importance, in terms of budgeting for a funeral, will writing and funeral planning. But it also holds incredible emotional and spiritual significance.
Research from Dying Matters suggests that the vast majority of people haven’t considered the practical arrangements that need to be made, including preferences when it comes to elderly care and even organ donation. It may be that we are even less prepared for the emotional considerations, often choosing to ignore this difficult topic or to sweep it under the rug.
No one should have to face the issues around death and dying alone. Dying Matters Awareness Week is to help people to come together to talk about those things that really matter. To gather a community of people who can affect a change in the way we deal with death as a society.
Communities across the UK will be taking part in events aimed at promoting conversation, encouraging people to actively think about these issues. It is also an opportunity for people to volunteer with different charities and organisations such as hospices that provide end of life care.
Each day of the week, there will be a different topic of focus. The topics are as follows:
Monday 13th – Funeral costs
Tuesday 14th – Memorialisation
Wednesday 15th – Grieving for a pet
Thursday 16th – Support for those who are estranged from/have no family
Friday 17th – Diversity and inclusion at end of life.
Local and national events across the UK
Events include film screenings, coffee mornings, will writing workshops and more, hosted by charities, local businesses, healthcare and funeral industry professionals among others. Events range from small gatherings to large scale campaigns. In the South East of England, a Design a Coffin competition is being held. While in Wales, GP surgeries will be displaying ‘What’s on your Bucket List?’ posters to help promote discussion with patients. Visit dyingmatters.org to see the full list of events, which you can filter by region to find those nearest to you.
Dying Matters Awareness Week events, hosted by Caerphilly Funeral Services
This year, the team at Caerphilly Funeral Services will be hosting several events aimed at promoting healthy discussion around the important issues of death, dying and bereavement. At both our Caerphilly and Church Village branches, we will be hosting coffee afternoons, inviting people to come and join in conversations around death and dying, sharing stories and changing the culture of silence around such matters.
Tuesday 14th May – Caerphilly Funeral Services, Parc Avenue Funeral Home, Crossways, Caerphilly, CF83 3AZ – 12-2pm
Thursday 16th May – Church Village Funeral Services, 6 Cardigan Close Precinct, Tonteg, Pontypridd, CF38 1LD – 12-2pm
Anyone is welcome to our events. Please do come and join us this week and join in the conversation.
To find out what other events are taking place near you, visit the Dying Matters website for a map of events taking place across Wales and the rest of the UK.
Dying Matters says:
‘This gives an unparalleled opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda. The campaign’s core values are about having dignity in our hearts minds and actions, changing the culture of care services and placing a greater emphasis on improving the quality of care and the experience of citizens using services including NHS hospitals, community services, care homes and home support services.’
If you’d like to learn more about Dying Matters and the work they do, visit their website today.