The new initiative has been launched to mark Demystifying Death Week
A new Death Club is being launched for people who want to talk more about death, dying and bereavement.
The Truacanta Death Club has been organised by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, a charity initiative working to make Scotland a place where everyone knows how to help when someone is caring, dying or grieving.
“We’re often told that death is a ‘taboo’ – something that people don’t want to talk about,” said Rebecca Patterson, Director of GLGDGG. “But surveys show that in Scotland most people are actually fairly comfortable talking about death. Perhaps the right opportunities just don’t present themselves.
“We’ve launched this new death club for people who want to discuss death more. It might be because something has happened in someone’s personal life, or it might be that someone deals with death a lot at work. Each month we’ll take a different book or podcast or film focused on themes of death, dying, loss or care and use that as the starting point for discussions.”
The new death club is part of Demystifying Death Week which runs from 6-12 May. Demystifying Death Week is about shining a light on death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.
“People usually want to do the right thing when someone they know is caring, dying or grieving. But often they can feel awkward offering help, or worry about making things worse,” said Mark Hazelwood, chief executive of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.
“People often have questions about serious illness or death. But they don't know who to ask. Making plans when you’re healthy means there is less to think about when you’re ill. But often people put off making plans until it is too late.
“Demystifying death week is about giving people knowledge, skills and opportunities to plan and support each other through death, dying, loss and care.”
Various online events are taking place during the week, for example, Say Something Dundee has plans for a Conversation Café, inviting locals to join in a relaxed, informal discussion around local experiences of death, dying, loss and care. The Compassionate Friends invites people to Say their name, to learn more about how to support parents and siblings who have been bereaved. A community in North Berwick will be welcoming locals to an online Armchair Chat, with a combination of music, discussion and input from Kathryn Mannix, author of the book With the end in mind.
“If people know a bit more about death and dying, they’re in a better position to take control of their own situation, make plans and have informed decisions about what they’d want when the time comes.” said Rebecca Patterson, director of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief.
“Sometimes people worry about things, like how to speak to someone who’s bereaved, or being refused CPR, and perhaps having more information about these could help people worry less.
“There are lots of resources out there that provide information, but sometimes it is difficult to know where to look. We want to make this information easier for people to get at, and we’ll sharing a lot of it this week using the hashtag #DemystifyDeath.”
This will include information on the kinds of preparations people can make if they are worried their health may get worse, for example by making a Power of Attorney and talking to the people close to them about an anticipatory care plan. They will also be sharing tips on how ordinary people can provide informal support to a friend or family member who is caring, dying or grieving, and places people can go for more formal support.