Exhibition tackles taboos around death

Rev Dr Sally Nelson outside Wetherby Town Hall, where the Going Gentley event will take place. (S)
Rev Dr Sally Nelson outside Wetherby Town Hall, where the Going Gentley event will take place. (S)
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Death and dying is to be the subject of an exhibition to be staged by a Wetherby church this month.

The Baptist Church, in partnership with St Gemma’s Hospice and several local businesses, is co-ordinating the ‘Going Gently... into that Good Night event in the town hall on Tuesday November 26.

Wetherby Baptist Church’s minister, Rev Dr Sally Nelson, explained: “It may seem like a strange event to attend, but it might actually be one of the most thoughtful things you ever do for your family.

“Many people have ideas about what they want to happen at their own funeral, and whether they want to die at home or in hospital, but often it is just too difficult to raise the subject with people we love.

“Leaving a folder with some instructions about these things is a really good way to help your family to cope when you have died. It can also bring great peace to the dying person.

“In my role as a hospice chaplain, I’ve seen many people, who, devastated and in shock from the death of someone they love, are deluged with questions about the funeral, the estate and about provision for their children.

“It’s only then, when they are at their lowest ebb, that they realise they have no idea what the wishes of the departed were because they had never wanted to talk about dying.”

At the free event, from 10am-noon, representatives from GE Hartley (funeral director), St James’s Place (investment planning), Ware & Kay (solicitor) and St Gemma’s Hospice (terminal care), will be available to answer questions, and members of the church will provide welcoming cups of tea and coffee to visitors.

“There is no question that we will all die one day,” Sally continued, “so it makes sense to think about these things in advance and not add to the burden of those we leave behind.

“If these matters are discussed during life, then we can sure that we are doing what our loved one would have wanted.

“You may need to plan your investments so that your children benefit, or clarify your wishes for your burial or cremation, or simply find out how to make a will.

“Bereavement causes great stress, and having some wishes recorded can help to prevent friction in families - small things can cause big arguments when everyone is upset.

“We hope that people will pop into Going gently..., enjoy a cup of coffee with us, talk to the exhibitors and pick up some useful information.”

More at www.wetherbybaptist.org.uk/going-gently.