Moray event aims to bring a dark subject into the open

The subject nobody wants to discuss is the subject of a two-day event in Moray next month
The subject nobody wants to discuss is the theme of a two-day event in Moray next month

DEATH IS NOT something many people choose to talk about – even in situations where it is forced on us by the stark realities of knowing you are losing a loved one.

We don’t like to think about it – so we generally keep our heads in the sand and pretend it will not happen to us. But, like Victoria Wood and Prince who passed away in the last week, it happens to us all – and we just can’t always predict its timing.

Now a drop-in event being planned for Moray during Dying Awareness Week is aiming to encourage people to think about the practicalities of the final phase of their life – and to ensure they make clear about what they would like to have happen after they die.

Visitors will learn about home funerals, green burials – questions that need to be asked and answered, what to say to children about death, and how to save money on their funeral costs. They can watch a willow coffin being made, see a shroud demonstration – and have fun doing it.

As someone posted on Facebook recently: “I’ve just heard that one of my best friends has died.

“Her mother is having a nightmare as her daughter’s phone and computer were password protected and they are having to deal with the mess of her affairs. They don’t even know if she had a Will. It’s making a terrible time even more stressful.”

A spokesman for ‘Pushing Up the Daisies’, being held from 12 to 14 May at 10am to 4pm at the St Giles Centre in Elgin, said: “To avoid the family having this kind of stress, people of all ages from Moray and beyond are invited to take this opportunity to get their affairs in order – and begin a conversation about dying and death now.

“They can do this by coming to one or more of the free talks, chat informally with one of the volunteers about their situation, or collect some leaflets giving more information.  They can discover how best they can prepare for a good ending of their life and also ease the burden on themselves now, and their loved ones later.”

Organisers are hoping that people of all ages will attend, saying that it is never too soon for children to get their affairs in order and then just get on with living life.

Behind the event is Jane Duncan Rogers, an author, speaker and coach who has worked in this field for many years. Kat Clarke, a local community nurse, organised the successful “Dying to know – a different kind of family day out” in Nairn, and has provided training to the NHS on death awareness. Karen Collins is a local willow coffin maker and director of the social enterprise ‘Naturally Useful’.

The event is being organized in collaboration with CLAN Cancer Support for All and Moray Citizens Advice Bureau.
‘Pushing Up Daisies’ is a new Scotland-wide charity network to encourage care at home before and after death, promote gentle release, and thoughtful, affordable funerals.

Editors Note: At 63-years-old next month and sufferer of Diabetes and an albeit treatable Cancer, I’m very much aware of my own mortality! Readers should be assured that insideMoray will be safe in my passing, I intend to hand it on to younger hands in plenty of time – but, playing it safe, a friend already has the ‘keys’ to the site should anything happen sooner!