An “awareness week”, many of us may choose to overlook, is “Dying Matters Week” in May - an annual national initiative encouraging us all to talk more openly about death, dying and bereavement. .
This year, to coincide with the “Dying Matters” week, a group of people in Todmorden, recognising that thinking about and planning for dying is pretty difficult, have created a program of events for the first week-long, Todmorden-based “Pushing up Daisies” festival..
During “Pushing up Daisies” festival week (May 16 to 23), opportunities will be hosted all over town in the health centre, library and other surprising places for having conversations about death, dying and bereavement.
All the participants have offered their time and skills for free, and it’s a great vote of confidence to know how keen people are to explore the different ways we can all better prepare and help support each other, say organisers.
All events are open to the general public and most are completely free.
There will be workshops covering wills or considering how to have that important conversation with a loved one, and art exhibitions to provoke thought and discussion.
Great music events will be happening during the week, featuring a New Orleans style funeral jazz band and the Three Valleys Gospel Choir.
“We have got the lot, from Fair trade coffin morning, a brand new play, you can visit to an undertaker and ask all those awkward questions, Information session on wills and power of attorney,” she said.
“There will be interactive events, a chance make a shoebox shrine and see how how cremation ashes can be up cycled into beautiful memorials.
“There will be opportunities to write and share bucket lists of all the stuff we want to do before we go and a special place to leave memories of those we have loved and lost.
“The focus is not just for the recently bereaved or those near the end of life, but on bringing the subject more widely into the public arena.” Programmes can be found at Todmorden Information Centre, Todmorden Library, Todmorden Health Centre and online. pushingupdaisiestod.moonfruit.com or on facebook.com/pushingupdaisies.