By Kim Lampard
If you were planning a wedding, how would it be?
Would you want a religious service, in church with hymns and prayers and everyone dressed up for the occasion? Or is it more your style to hire a tepee in a field and ask friends and family to share a barbecue beneath the stars
The peculiar British trait of “getting on with it” without moaning and making a fuss is one of our greatest strengths.
But it also leads to one of our greatest weaknesses says Catherine Powell, Customer Experience Director of the UK’s leading direct cremation provider Pure
The intensity of my experiences didn’t stop when Viv died as I found myself at odds with my brothers. We have always got on a family supporting each other in different ways, while recognising our differences. I resented the ease with which they settled and chatted in Viv
In her final weeks Viv and I had some tussles or occasions she had to be nudged to accept something that was difficult.
For some time Viv had resisted changing her double bed for a hospital bed. One evening I clambered on her bed behind her so she could lean against me to sit up to eat,
In my final email to Viv’s List – this time with the subject heading simply ‘Viv’ - I let people know she had died peacefully and gave details of the funeral arrangements at the social gathering some days later to celebrate her life. I added:
While Viv was in a morphine induced coma for the final two days of her life, we continued to soothe her and I know she could hear us. Twice on that first day I asked her to give me a kiss and I saw her lips pucker in response, and other times she made her displeasure crystal clear: she did
For two years I had a contact list titled Viv’s List in my email address book: a list of extended family and friends Viv had charged me with notifying once she died. I didn’t want my first contact with this group to be so dramatic so decided to write to everyone soon after my
Towards the end of Viv’s life I asked her who she wanted me to arrange to visit or speak with by phone. She paused and answered that it was more a case of who she wanted to allow to see or speak with her. And that was the thing. By then she was content to lie quietly in
"My sister Viv's end of life plan was centred on remaining at home, followed by a do-it-yourself funeral. Many people worked together, supported by the district nurses, to make that possible."
A friend of Viv’s, Lynne, was the linchpin of Project Viv. She had
‘I believe supporting someone who is dying is the biggest gift we can give a loved one.’ These were the words of a district nurse acknowledging my role with my sister.
Viv was in the final stages of secondary breast cancer. A cancer that had embedded itself in her liver, had