A matter of life and death

Pictured from left: Marie Curie nurse Corrina Reid, funeral director Callum Ross, Kate Clark from charity Pushing Up The Daisies and Jane Duncan Rogers of Before I Go Solutions will encourage people to talk about the ‘taboo’ subject of death.

There seems to be a week for almost any subject you care to mention these days, and next week (14 to 20 May) is National Good Death Week.

To mark it, four Moray-based organisations are joining forces for an event during which they hope to bring the discussion of death to life. And they are encouraging people to attend, which is asking people to consider the question: “What would a good death be for me?”

The event will be held in Forres on May 16, and will be hosted by Jane Duncan Rogers, who will tell her heart-breaking and uplifting story of how she founded the social enterprise Before I Go Solutions following her husband’s tragic death.

Jane explained why she wanted to hold the event and shared why she feels it’s important people get comfortable speaking about death.

She said: “Death has in the past been quite a taboo subject but I want to demonstrate that it doesn’t have to be like this. Three years after my husband died in 2011, I published my book Gifted By Grief. I was amazed that readers’ favourite chapter was the one about the questions I asked him before he died – they said they wanted to answer them too. I had been surprised how we had a very close and loving time doing this – it was even enjoyable!  This has led to me setting up the not for profit company Before I Go Solutions, where we offer courses and products to help people talk about dying, death and grief, get what they want down in writing, and thus benefit the whole family.  Many people are surprised at how, once permission is given, they can talk easily about these subjects, and find it is a relief to do so.”

Jane added: “We have a variety of speakers who will all bring something different to the table. Pushing Up The Daisies is a very interesting charity who are striving to dispel some of the myths about looking after a deceased loved one at home, and we will hear about the good work that Marie Curie nurses do in looking after dying relatives and their families in those final difficult weeks and months. We urge people to come along, just to hear us talk passionately about a subject which if left alone, can be so utterly heart-breaking.”

Jane will also be joined at the Tolbooth-based talk by Forres funeral director Callum Ross, who will reveal why talking about death as a family can enhance the funeral experience, and how inheriting the family business at just 21-years-old shaped his views on death.

Callum said: “I am very much looking forward to this event, and was delighted that Jane asked me to speak. I hope this event will provide an environment which allows people to feel comfortable in opening up and talking about a subject that so many in the past have found uncomfortable. My role as a funeral director is to both, care for a deceased and support their loved ones at the time of a bereavement by offering help and guidance. A funeral director should always be approachable, so I hope my talk will help people feel reassured and at ease by explaining what my job entails and give an opportunity for people to ask any questions.”

With an interactive quiz, funny and thought-provoking tales, and FREE refreshments, these four experts will bring the subject of death to life and will be sure to leave you inspired and informed.

The event will take place on Wednesday, 16 May, at the Tolbooth in Forres from 10.30am to Noon.

For more information please contact Jane on 01309 696955 or  [email protected]