Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
My mum, Heather, will be 89 in August. She lives with me, is bedridden, frail and fed up. Since my step-father's death in 2009, we have often talked about death, dying, funerals and how we could possibly get these things right - and if they were 'right' what form this might take.
Anyway, Mum decided that she would like a pre-funeral funeral as people say such lovely things about the dead person, so it would be good to hear them when you're alive. We both thought this a good idea but weren't too sure about the title and also I was unsure as to when to organise it as having such a thing surely underlines the time she has left.
We talked to the wonderful celebrant who presided over my step-father's funeral. He travelled down to visit Mum at the end of last year and take down a first draft of her life story. He suggested a This is Your Life party, which is what we are going to do in July. We will have it in one of the hotels on Eastbourne's seafront, near where we live. The celebrant will play the part of Eamon Andrews/Michael Aspel and family and friends will be invited to step up at various times to relay their own mum-related anecdotes. There will be a slide show and some of Mum's favourite music and poems. There will be eating and drinking and much merriment. When the time comes, Mum wants a straight to crem funeral with no-one but her four children present and she then wants her ashes dropped at sea with my step-father's as quietly and fuss-free as possible.
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66