Starting the conversation: About death
Taboo subject raised in Dying Matters Awareness Week
A WEEK of talks and workshops was organised by a community group all about the ‘taboo’ subject of death and dying.
Residents in and around Egham, Virginia Water and Staines were invited to take part in a ‘Big Conversation’ about death to tie in with Dying Matters Awareness Week from May 9-13.
The idea was to get people talking about how death can be less frightening and more approachable, if we engage in conversations about endof-life care with those we love.
The programme of events was designed to raise issues, questions and ideas which people might not have thought about before.
There was an open invitation for the public to come along and find out more.
Specialist palliative care nurse Rupert Devereux, from Sam Beare Hospice, spoke on the Wednesday, posing the question What Does Palliative Care Mean?
He described his role within the hospice and raised some interesting discussion points about how society views conversations about death and end-of-life care.
He then took questions from the audience.
Speaking about Dying Matters Awareness Week and the series of ‘Big Conversation’ events held in Surrey, organiser Katerina Taee said: “This is the first year we have run such an event and we did not expect lots of people, as we know it is a difficult topic.
“Those that have come have found it informative, very useful and in some cases essential, so we are very happy with the way it has evolved. There is, however, more work to be done on opening up the conversation around death, dying and bereavement in the future.”
Mr Devereux added after the event: “Dying Matters Awareness Week is to become an annual event and we are delighted to be involved.
“People attending the sessions, young and old, reflected that there is a conversation to be had; whether it is speaking to your family about your future choices or writing a Will. It is a matter for us all to consider.”
For more information on Woking & Sam Beare Hospice’s services see www. wsbhopices.co.uk.
For more on Dying Matters Awareness Weeks see www. dyingmatters.org.uk.