There can be nothing more difficult than addressing the sensitive subject of death and dying with your loved ones, but help is on hand with a special campaign in the next week.
The annual Dying Matters Week prompts you to open the important conversation on preparing for dying or the death of a family member or friend with the support of a programme of local community events.
Dying Matters awareness week
Talking about death, dying and bereavement doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. The aim of this awareness campaign (Monday 2 to Friday 6 May) in Brighton & Hove and run by the national hospice movement Hospice UK, is to bring people together and get communities talking in whatever way works for them.
The theme is supporting people in ‘Being In a Good Place to Die’ which includes being well prepared to enable high quality end of life care and address vital legal aspects early. Hospice UK says too many people are dying without the emotional and practical help they need.
Community conversation events
There are several sociable events across the city centred round having a chat with a ‘cuppa’ where advice is offered and conversation encouraged on subjects, often otherwise avoided, in a relaxed informal setting.
Topics covered include:
How to start conversations on ‘last wishes’
Legal aspects - lasting power of attorney, wills and estate planning
Dealing with grief
Peer-to-peer support on bereavement
Chat over a cuppa
Councillor Sarah Neild, Deputy Chair of Brighton & Hove Council Health & Wellbeing Board, said: “Talking about everything to do with the sensitive subject of dying doesn’t have to be as difficult as we think and we’re inviting people to get together in a relaxing environment to start talking in a series of community events. It can begin with a simple as chat over a cup of coffee.
“The pandemic has brought the issue of end of life, grief, and bereavement closer to home for many more of us. For instance, separation which caused isolation due to Covid has made grieving for a lost loved one a lot harder for some of us.
“So, we’re supporting Dying Matters dedicated events in the city which will make it easier to start the conversation with family and friends about how and where we die, who we’re with at the end and what support we have in place.’’
Join these special events
The following events are available for anyone who wants to join:
Thursday 28 April: 7.30pm to 9.15pm: The Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove, ‘Dying for a Cuppa’, a conversation about death, dying, love and loss.
This free event hosted by soul midwife Hannah Rayya, is a welcoming, friendly space for everyone in the community to meet and enjoy open-minded conversation and tea and cake. Book your place through Eventbrite
Saturday 7 May: Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove, 10am to 4.30pm ‘Dying for a Cuppa - The Workshop’, hosted by soul midwives, Hannah Rayya and Katie Costello, this comprehensive workshop is split into 2 sessions. You can attend one session for £30 or both for £55. To book please visit Eventbrite
Saturday 7 May: Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove 10.00am to 12.30pm by Tender Loving Care (training) - ‘The 4 Stages of Dying’. This looks at the process of dying, at what a person experiences and how best they can be supported and how you can be supported whether patient, family, carer, or health care professional. To book please visit Eventbrite
Saturday 7 May: Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove, 1.30pm to 4.30pm ‘Vision Board your funeral’. This advises on designing your funeral, considering our final wishes and informing our loved ones of how we desire to be honoured at our funeral and helps save them some grief when the time comes. To book please visit Eventbrite
Wednesday 4 May: Webinar, 9.30am to 1.30pm ‘Preparing to Say Goodbye’ guided conversations about the end of life’. Training by ‘Time to Talk Befriending’ helps to think about death and dying, focussing on how we can help those we are supporting to talk about this difficult subject when they need to. Join here: Preparing to Say Goodbye: guided conversations about the end-of-life online training 4th May
Thursday 5 May: Hop 50+, Palmeira Square, Hove BN3 2FL, 2pm-3pm. Free event - ‘Poetry for Dying Matters Week’. For more information please call: 01273 729603
Last Wishes - Live Your Legacy Virtual Tea Rooms (dates below). The charity Last Wishes has created an inspiring pack of Conversation Cards to aid what can often be difficult conversations. Learn more about Last Wishes .
3 Zoom sessions are offered using the cards, Join any of the events through the same Zoom link:
Monday May 2: 10.30am to 11.30am
Wednesday May 4: 7.00pm to 8.00pm
Friday 6 May: 10.30am to 11.30am
Further advice and support is available on issues such as dying, death, bereavement and end of life care from Hospice UK.
Your local library also offers books for loan advising on coping with grief and life after bereavement. Children’s non-fiction and fiction books help children understand and come to terms with the death of a loved one. You can also obtain helpful information from Jubilee Library in Brighton compiled in a special folder called ‘Death, Let’s start the conversation’, which includes sources of advice on wills, living wills, organ donation, funeral planning and bereavement support.