A special event that aims to empower people to talk openly and honestly about death, dying and bereavement is taking place in Stockton as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2019.

In response to the question being posed as part of this year’s awareness week, “Are we ready …”, a range of organisations will be at St John the Baptist Church in Durham Road, Stockton on 14th and 16th May to help start conversations about funeral wishes, financial matters and end of life planning.

The free sessions are being hosted by the Stockton-based family-owned funeral firm, Crake and Mallon.

Senior Partner Alison Crake said that Dying Matters Awareness Week is an important opportunity for people to focus on a topic that is often considered taboo.

“We’d love people to come and join us for a cup of tea and a chat about something that many find difficult to talk about.

“It’s an opportunity to meet in a relaxed setting and gain information that can hopefully help when you are considering what your wishes would be.

“As well as the emotional and spiritual issues that are associated with death and dying there are important practical issues to consider too.  My team and I see first-hand the positive impact that sharing your wishes and having a will can have for those left behind.

“However, even if you have these things in place, any questions and concerns are best faced with the help of others and we have arranged this event to show some of the support that is available.”

People will be able to meet and chat with members of the Crake and Mallon team as well as representatives from organisations such as local solicitors Archers Law, Citizen’s Advice, the Church of England, funeral celebrants and others.  Some of the organisations attending will also be taking part in a series of short presentations throughout the day, all designed to inform and advise.

Alison commented: “Funerals are now often seen as a celebration of someone’s life and I will be sharing some stories of how people have personalised funerals for their loved ones with touches that cost very little but which mean so much.

“Themed funerals, favourite pieces of music or poetry readings, having a notebook for people to share a happy memory or asking those attending the funeral to wear a particular colour – these are just some of the things that we are asked to help arrange.

“It’s also an opportunity to ask an undertaker anything you ever wondered or wanted to know about funeral arrangements.”

The Dying Matters Awareness events are taking place at St. John the Baptist Church (The Parish of Christchurch), Durham Road, Stockton-On-Tees TS19 0DZ on Tuesday 14th and Thursday 16th May, from 10.30am – 3.30pm.  Entry is free and light refreshments will be available.

Further information (including up to date details of the organisations attending) is available from the Crake and Mallon website www.crakeandmallon.co.uk