Dying to talk – starting the conversation

People have been encouraged to talk more about end of life matters and the delicate topics of death and dying during a special free seminar series held at Sandgate Cemetery. The Rest Assured program is a joint initiative between Sandgate Cemetery and Newcastle Compassionate Community. Launched in March, the six-month trial project included topics such as grief and loss, advance care planning, palliative care, organising your own funeral, memoir writing or doula services. Newcastle Compassionate Community advocate Jeanette Lacey (Chair) believes having such conversations is crucial as some people can really struggle socially, culturally and personally, with the concept of even starting a healthy dialogue around the many sensitive and often complex issues associated with dying and death. “Many are at a real loss about how to approach the subject with family and friends, let alone find the right words to have an in-depth conversation,” she says. The series, which is part of Sandgate Cemetery’s Care and Wellbeing Program, provided an opportunity for informed discussion in a supportive and safe environment. Events included Cessnockbased writer Connie Wood (pictured) speaking about the importance of writing a memoir.

For further information about these issues go to www.northerncemeteries.com.au/sandgate/ or call 02 4968 3602