Dying Matters Awareness Week 2019 runs from May 13th until May 19th.
In their efforts to raise public awareness of the issues surrounding death and dying, Dying Matters Awareness Week always raises difficult, but important questions.
Past awareness weeks have focused on the need to talk about death under the banner of the 'Big Conversation', encouraging everyone to talk more openly about death and dying, and have asked 'What can you do?', focusing on how we can help others face up to the challenges of death and bereavement.
This week, the question the end-of-life advocacy group wants us to ask ourselves is: Are We Ready? Are We Ready for our own deaths, or the deaths of those we care about?
Activities during this week have highlighted the different levels that we should be thinking about in our own state of readiness. Have we prepared for the practical issues surrounding death and dying - wills or funeral planning for example. And are we ready emotionally or spiritually.
Research carried out by Dying Matters suggest that most people are not ready, practically or emotionally... 'Who is ever really ready to die?' they acknowledged in the announcement of this year's theme.
But by asking the question throughout this week at events all across the country and online, Dying Matters hopes that people will begin to look at how they can prepare for themselves and to help others deal with issues raised by a bereavement.
Awareness week activities
Awareness week is a high-profile, annual focus for Dying Matters' ongoing work to encourage the public to talk with friends, family and loved ones about their end-of-life wishes, including where they want to die and their funeral plans.
A programme of national and local activities put the importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement back on the national agenda. Groups across the country will be offering information and support at almost 250 events all over the UK between May 13th and 19th, helping the public tackle questions like:
- Are We Ready to help others get their affairs in order?
- Are We Ready to help people we know who are caring for someone who is dying?
- Are We Ready to support someone who is grieving?
- Or even something as simple as "Are We Ready to talk about it?"
You can find Dying Matters' Awareness Week events near you on the Dying Matters website. The calendar includes events of every shape and size, from coffee mornings in local hospices to poster campaigns in GP surgeries and a 'Design a coffin' competition organised by an eco-friendly coffin company.
The one thing uniting all awareness events is a focus on thinking, and talking, about our end of life plans. Online, daily topics are being introduced to spark specific conversations and give people a chance to ask questions or share their experiences.
This week's topics are:
- Monday 13th - Funeral costs
- Tuesday 14th - Memorialisation
- Wednesday 15th - Grieving for a pet
- Thursday 16th - Support for those who are estranged from/have no family
- Friday 17th - Diversity and inclusion at end of life
Planning for your funeral is part of being ready for your end of life. Find out more about how you can plan for your funeral with Golden Charter. Request a free, no obligation information pack or call 0808 169 4534.
Dying Matters Awareness Week is led by Hospice UK and takes place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Good Death Week takes place on the same dates and is led by Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief and the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care.