END of LIFE
There is so much to consider at the end of someone's life and many of us feel under-prepared and under-resourced. This section is here to point you to some of the wonderful resources we have in our community to support you at this extraordinary time..
around End of Life
When someone close to you dies, it can bring up overwhelming emotions. Profound experience. Intimate.
Loss & Grief
People experience loss in many different ways - it can bring up a range of emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety or maybe a numbness. There is no quick fix but it is good to acknowledge how you're feeling. If you need support during this time, ask for help. Talk to family or friends who might be able to offer practical assistance, as well as emotional support.
Martlets run some open-access bereavement groups locally and
Cruse provide some good information about bereavement and have a local office.
Our Brain may understand that all life eventually dies but this knowledge doesn't relieve the pain in our Heart. For some this time may be an opportunity to develop a deeper connection and appreciation of our natural environment. A walk in the woods may be as effective as a counselling session.
is never easy
In the weeks, days and hours before a friend or relative's death, you might feel anxious or tearful. Acknowledge those feelings and try to be true to yourself. Allow time for understanding to happen as this can be an opportunity for meaningful connection. It may be a time to forgive or ask for forgiveness. It may be a time to appreciate or thank someone. Or to say how much you love them.
And it is not just words that communicate. A simple touch of the hand can mean more than a well prepared speech.
It might sound depressing but surprisingly it feels life-enhancing. And there's tea and cake as well!
NEXT DEATH CAFE IN BRIGHTON
7.15 - 9.00 20th Nov 2019
Friend's Meeting House, Ship Street
Before & During Death
Preparing for the death of someone can be a very challenging time. The amount of organisation can be overwhelming so we've mapped out some of the key areas with links to
End of Life Doulas
EoL Doulas support individuals and their families who are facing the end of their life. In Sussex we are fortunate to have many trained and experienced Doulas as LWDW is a pioneering training charity in Lewes. An end of life doula is there to support anyone with a terminal diagnosis or life limiting condition. They work in a person's home as well as hospices, hospitals and care homes.
Dying in Hospital
Nearly 50% of us will die in a hospital. Obviously a hospital can provide a great service at reducing pain and anxiety, and possibly extend a persons life for some time further. The downside is the busy, noisy and hectic nature of life in a hospital ward and it simply isn’t the best place to die with dignity and peace.
Dying at Home
This is where most people say they want to die rather than in a medicalised setting. Unfortunately, due to the intensive care & support needed this isn't always possible. Sometimes with the right support of a Doula & medical care team it may be possible to transfer a very sick person back home just for the last few days.
Dying in a Hospice
Only 5% of us will die in a hospice due to the limited limited number of spaces although many now offer a Hospice at Home service. A hospice offers the same high standard of medical support and care as a hospital, yet have private rooms, beautiful gardens and staff that are able to go out of their way to make a persons last days as good as possible.
Death is a part of our lives. If we embrace it, we can face our fears together. Taking an alternative, empowered-approach to funerals allows us to question convention and find answers that make sense to us.
1. Get a medical certificate – you'll get this from a doctor (GP or at a hospital). You need the certificate to register the death.
2. Register the death within five days – you’ll then get the documents you need for the funeral.
3. You are not legally required to have a funeral, but a body must be dealt with in a legal manner – the usual options are cremation or burial but you can choose to leave your body to science.
Natural burial is for people looking for a more environmentally-friendly method of burial, rather than a grave with a traditional headstone.
It provides an alternative form of burial in which the accumulating graves will remain forever. The areas have been planned to recreate an eco-friendly environment and provide important environmental benefits for the encouragement and protection of wildlife.
Natural burial is available to everyone, irrespective of faith or religion.
Funerals are for the Living
Most people these days want a funeral that is a celebration of life rather than the Victorian-style dirge. A funeral can create value and deepen our sense of connection and community if it is done well but it takes work. Most people use a funeral director, but you can do it yourself. The celebration doesn't have to be in a chapel it could be on the South Downs, in the woods or by the sea.
Choosing appropriate music and readings can be deeply meaningful for the mourners.
Around 70% of deceased bodies in the UK are cremated.
A Direct cremation service provides a simple, respectful cremation that takes place separately from any ceremony. It's a good choice for those looking for a modern, straight-forward alternative to a traditional burial or cremation.
There may be a ceremony in the crematorium but the body may not be cremated for up to 72 hours after the service.
Anyone can officiate at a Funeral. Traditionally services have been conducted by the various religious authorities but in a multi-cultural environment, people often choose an interfaith minister or celebrant. This person may support all faiths or facilitate a celebration without any faith being mentioned.