On Tuesday 9th May, Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice will join individuals and organisations from around Leeds to build on the success of last year’s Dying Matters campaign with a range of favourite and new events.
The week will see a return of the popular New Orleans-style jazz band accompanying a mock coffin into the Leeds City Museum, where a range of speakers, stalls and activities are arranged to help people understand how best to plan for death.
The week-opening event – titled ‘Everything you wanted to know about death but were afraid to ask – has a range of free films, stalls, speakers and activities. Our own Sue Ryder palliative care experts will be among them. Come along and meet us in the Marketplace.
Breaking down taboos
"It’s a subject most people don’t want to talk about until it is too late or forced upon them by circumstances," says councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, "but Dying Matters Week is a great chance to realise that, by sharing important information and planning earlier, you and your loved ones are going to be much more likely to get the end of your life dealt with in accordance with you want, not what others might think you want.
"If we all do that," she adds, "we can ensure our final wishes are carried out and our death is made that little bit easier for those we leave behind who are not left with as much organisation to do on top of grieving."
"Leeds is really showing how important it is to break down the taboos around talking about death openly and plainly," agrees Dying Matters' national spokesperson Paul Hayes. "This isn’t about inappropriately bringing up the subject just for the sake of it - it is about making the most of chances that come up to let family and friends know what our wishes are, and getting plans in place rather than trusting to luck and leaving things until it is too late. Having Dying Matters Week gives everyone that chance."
Dying Matters Awareness Week
Dying Matters is a coalition of 32,000 palliative care members, including Sue Ryder.
Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th May.
This year's theme is 'What Can You Do?', which asks people to think about what they can do to make death, dying and bereavement easier for those around them.