Dying Matters Awareness Week
In May, it’s Dying Matters Awareness Week. This gives us all the opportunity to place the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement firmly on the national agenda.
The week will run from 11th – 17th of May 2020, and this year’s theme is “Dying to be Heard“.
In other words, it’s time for us to explore the other half of the conversation; how do we respond when someone wants to discuss death, or grief, or their plans with us?
It’s so easy to avoid these types of conversation, make a joke or put it off until “later”. I get it, it often feels awkward to engage in talk about death and the practical aspects of dying.
“When someone wants to talk about death, we owe it to them to be the other half of that conversation. If they want to talk, we need to listen” – Dying Matters.
The more we listen to others who are wanting to talk about it, the more others will be more likely to join in because they will feel heard.
There are also practical steps we want to encourage people to take, however it all starts with conversations. Let’s talk about it, and equally let’s listen to others too.
Information & Advice
For 2020, Dying Matters have made a range of new leaflets available at no charge. The leaflets will help with how you can best listen to others, as well as talk about death and dying.
During the awareness week, there will also be emphasis on some key themes for social media. These are:
• Monday – Traumatic/sudden death
• Tuesday – Carers
• Wednesday – Homelessness
• Thursday – Stillbirth and miscarriage
• Friday – Mental Health
I shall be covering these with further helpful tips and guidance over on my Facebook Page. Please do join in the conversations over there, share and if you’re feeling up for it write your own posts.
Joining In Online
There are a number of amazing events taking place up and down the UK throughout the week. Due to current circumstances they will all be taking place online in various ways.
Browse my top 5 West Midlands-led events:
The D Word: Monday 11 May 2020
Hosted by Louise Creswick – Grief & Loss Coach, this is an opportunity for practitioners, professionals and volunteers working in the field to come together, engage in topical discussions about death and supporting grief, as well as network and share ideas.
Soul Midwife in Residence: Tuesday 12 May 2020
Join Rachael Field via Zoom for an hour as she shares information about her work as a Soul Midwife, how and why she trained to become one and the work she, and others do in the community. Afterwards, there will be a Q&A and time to chat openly about death and dying.
5 Tips for a Conversation About Death & Dying: Thursday 14 May 2020
Are you finding it difficult to talk with others about death and dying? Join Zoe Norman live on Facebook for 5 tips on how to start and how to listen.
Dying Natters: Thursday 14 May 2020
Pop in to Zoom to have a natter and discuss what matters most to you. Join Shelley Jackson-Woodall and Rachael Field from Dying Matters Dudley for their first online death café and community conversation to engage in thoughtful conversations about death and dying.
Why Should I? : Friday 15 May 2020
End of Life Doula UK members, Aly Dickinson and Helen Juffs will deliver this 2 hour online workshop which is aimed at people in Birmingham and the West Midlands to think about whether you should be making end-of-life plans for yourself, or helping others to.
For further tips on helping others through bereavement and coping with grief, take a look at my other blogs and podcast; Life Beyond Loss. You can also listen to the Dying Matters Podcast.
Remember that now more than ever, it’s important that we seek help and support when we need it as much as we offer help and support. If there is anything you’re concerned about right now, drop me a line and I’ll do what I can to help.