It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week from 8th to 14th May 2023. The annual campaign is promoted by Hospices UK and is a way of encouraging everyone to talk more about death, dying and bereavement. Despite the impact of the global pandemic, many of us are still wary of talking about death in everyday life. This year the focus is around support for grief in the workplace.
Bereavement is such an important and emotive subject, as none of us want to experience the pain of grief but we want to feel fully supported when we do. Talking openly about our experiences might start to effect positive changes to the way that the bereaved are supported.
I attended a Dying Matters event in Norfolk this week, held a little early due to the King’s Coronation and other planned events. It was great to be part of a day where so many different professionals came together to showcase their experiences and organisations. I went along to highlight my books and I am so glad I did. It was refreshing to talk openly about the impact of death on children and young people and discuss ways to support them.
I was impressed that so many people stopped to look at my stall and the books and comment on how bright and inviting they were, despite the subject matter. I was pleased to receive such positive feedback, as I have worked hard to make the books attractive to their target audience. I found myself explaining to people that the books are just as useful for adults supporting a bereaved child, as they are for the children and young people themselves. I even sold a few copies on the day alongside people taking details of my website to buy them at a later date. It seemed to go well.
My author journey is about making a difference for bereaved children and young people. For me, it is never easy or comfortable to showcase my work and market myself or my books. It needs totally different skills from writing! However, if I don’t promote them, the books will sit in a box at home and be of no use to anyone. So, this is me using Dying Matters Awareness Week to shout out about my contribution to the cause. Now it is over to you to do the same – please be open to talking about death and dying and your wishes. As they say, making a will won’t kill you, nor will talking about an inevitable part of our existence.