Bringing peace of mind this Dying Matters Week

It’s a conversation that nobody wants to have, but it’s the one thing we can all be certain of. Death and dying have always been difficult subjects to broach, but now hospital staff in East Yorkshire are seeking to make it that bit easier for people to discuss these sensitive matters.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust will be supporting the seventh annual ‘Dying Matters’ week, which runs from 9th-15th May, by holding a local event at Castle Hill Hospital.
Themed on ‘Peace of Mind’, staff will be on hand throughout the afternoon of Thursday 12th May to lend advice and a listening ear, and help people think about planning ahead.

The event is designed to provide information about practical issues, such as funeral arrangements and end of life choices, right through to emotional issues, such as coping with loss. Members of the bereavement support group, ‘Dawn’, will also be in attendance.

At teatime, John Creasey, from Dove House Hospice’s Family Support Team, will give a talk on feelings of loss and grief, titled ‘Am I going mad?’, designed for those who may be struggling following a bereavement or major loss.

In the evening, visitors to the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology will also be able to start the conversation in the ‘Peace of Mind, Piece of Cake’ café and add their must-do activities onto the centre’s ‘Bucket List’ tree.

Dr Barbara Payman, Macmillan Bereavement Counsellor for Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has been involved in organising the event. She says:

“No matter who we are or what we do, no matter how well or ill we’re feeling, the one thing we can all be certain of is that we will, one day, come to the end of our lives.

“Many of us find it difficult to talk about anything to do with dying or bereavement but, in many cases, having that conversation to pre-plan and prepare can ultimately bring huge peace of mind for our families.

“In fact, making your feelings known early can be a really positive thing to do, as it can help you ensure your wishes are followed when the time comes, and it can also mean loved ones have fewer decisions to make at an already difficult time.

“This Dying Matters week, we want to help people to get started on these conversations, so we’re offering a number of ways people can get involved. Visitors are invited to call in for general information on topics such as funerals, writing wills, and end of life care between 2.00pm and 5.00pm, or join us for an informal talk from John Creasey, of Dove House, on dealing with feelings of loss and grief at 5.30pm.

“Finally, because we want people to feel it’s okay to talk about these matters, we’ll be hosting our free ‘Peace of Mind, Piece of Cake’ café from 6:45 to 8pm, where people can come and grab a drink and a slice of cake, and talk about any concerns or questions they may have.

“The event is open to all; members of the public and health professionals; and we’re very much looking forward to helping people start talking and achieving peace of mind this Dying Matters Week.”

The Peace of Mind event is free to attend, and will take place between 2pm and 8pm on Thursday 12th May inside the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology, Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham. The full running order for the event is as follows:

  • 2.00pm-5.00pm — Drop-in information stalls and opportunity to chat to hospital staff
  • 5.30pm-6.30pm — ‘Am I going mad? Feelings of loss and grief’ — talk by John Creasey of Dove House Hospice
  • 6.45pm-8.00pm — Peace of Mind, Piece of Cake café — join the team, eat cake and talk through any questions or concerns