Start­ing the con­ver­sa­tion: About death

Taboo sub­ject raised in Dy­ing Mat­ters Aware­ness Week

Staines Informer - - NEWS - Char­lotte Tal­bot

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.

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