“I attended my first death cafe recently and was surprised to discover that the gathering of goths, emos and the terminally ill that I’d imagined, turned out to be a collection of fascinating, normal individuals united by a wish to discuss mortality.” Those are the words of journalist Matilda Battersby, writing in The Independent in … More Death Cafes are great!
Marguerite Wallis writes- SALAAM, STILLNESS and SONG is the title of a Requiem event I am putting on in memory of my father Ronald Watts who died last year. It is being held in the John Bunyan Church, Cowley, at 12.30 on Saturday the 24th September. Donations will go towards the Ark T centre, a … More Salaam, stillness and song-in memory
Liz writes- Back from the Edinburgh festival now and ready to really focus on the build up towards the festival. We had amazing weather. My experience of the festival in the past has been torrential rain which soaked me as soon as I left the safety of my venue. This time it was people barbecuing … More Getting inside the box with Outside the Box – A Live Show about Death
Before the birth of a first child, the prospective parents are usually more than keen to do the best for their anticipated baby. This will involve discussing options about where the birth should best take place, what “style” of birthing is preferred, and a lot of learning about feeding, sleeping, nappies, and so on. Of … More Ante-Fatal Classes, anyone?
I have been reading a recently-published collection of poetry by Clive James, called “Sentenced to Life”. James has advanced cancer and has been expecting to die for a long time. He lives in Cambridge, where the successive treatments he has received have so far kept him alive. But at what cost? The title of his … More Is life the worst thing that can happen to you?
How on earth to follow Kate’s piece last week? She spoke so eloquently about the words and the silences that are such a part of life when the elephant of dying is in the room. She also reminded us of how demanding it is to accompany someone towards their end, even for people who are … More Listening as caring
Kate Binnie is one of the participants at the Festival. Here she shares the kind of profound encounter that she has had as a music therapist. Pete sits on the edge of the chair, his face and bald head shining and sweaty. He turns his palms up and out towards me: “What’s it all about then … More “Total Pain” – music therapy in palliative care
‘Denial’ writes David Whyte in his book Consolations, ‘is an underestimated state of being. Denial is an ever present and even splendid thing when seen in the light of its merciful and elemental powers to cradle and hold an identity until it is ready to move on.’ Reading these words gave me a different … More ‘Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt’ – Mark Twain
Duncan ponders Assisted Dying In February this year the BBC aired a documentary called “Simon’s Choice”, following the story of a man with Motor Neurone Disease who decided to end his life at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. The programme showed how Simon’s determination not to end his life helplessly had led to his decision, … More Whose death is it anyway?
Duncan ponders our attitudes to risk- What makes life worth living? Part of the answer might be “taking risks”. One of the things I’ve noticed about growing older is that I’m much more aware of danger, and now sometimes shudder at what my younger self got up to. For example I used to love taking … More Dead Risky