Location, Location, Location

 

 

I was recently watching Location, Location, Location the property search TV show. On it was a couple of retirement age who were down-sizing and moving to be closer to their three children, who were geographically spread out. They had looked at about 30-40 properties but couldn’t decide on one that they both liked. They were living in rented accommodation having sold their house, and were quite depressed that there was ‘nothing out there’. During the course of the programme it seemed that they loved their old house and didn’t really want to move but thought that it was the ‘sensible’ thing to do and both had different ideas about what they wanted in a new house. So no surprise that they hadn’t found anything on their own.

At one telling point, the man said ‘I know this is a stupid analogy but I feel like I am in mourning’. Of course the conversation moved swiftly on and Phil Spencer continued with his search to ‘replace the loss’. I was screaming at the TV ‘Stop! that is exactly right!’ The couple were grieving the loss of their family home, their familiar pattern of behaviour that went with living there, their friends, their emotional attachment to the area and all that living there meant to them. The sad thing was that the man had said exactly how he felt without anyone, least of all him, realising the truth behind those words.

Grief is not just about bereavement. It is about loss of anything of an emotional attachment, including your house, home and familiar patterns of behavior. Moving house is one of the biggest losses that produce feelings of grief. Of course they felt stuck and unable to make decisions, which in turn had led to lethargy and lack of hope for finding a new house. It was no surprise at the end of the programme after coming close to buying one house that it ended with them still looking. Their loss was not going to be replaced, because that is not the answer. What it had done was to focus their minds on the reality of their situation and what kind of property they were now looking for. A kind of completion with some steps that they could take on their own towards being able to move forward.

If you feel like you are mourning after any loss of an emotional nature then you are probably suffering with grief. The Grief Recovery Method can help you to realise this and help you to take steps to help you to move forward and lessen the pain that is attached to grief and have a future, albeit a different one.

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Dying Matters Doesn’t It?

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Does dying matter? Of course, it does. Then why don’t we talk about it? We plan and discuss other major life events. It doesn’t have to be morbid and it won’t happen just because you talk about it!

From 8th May to 14th May, events will be held all over the country to try and help people to become more comfortable about planning and talking about death and dying.

Dying Matters is a coalition led by the National Council for Palliative Care to support the implementation of the Department of Health’s ‘End of Life Care’ strategy. To make a ‘good death’ the norm and this year’s theme is  ‘What Can You Do?’

Death Cafes make you a ‘legitimate weirdo’ so there will be hundreds running up and down the country for us all to be ‘weird’ together along with other events looking at and discussing death and dying. But who says we are weird? Is it not time to take back responsibility for ourselves instead of leaving it to our children? Make decisions about your end of life care, for how and where you wish to die, for your funeral and funeral ceremony. Have the last laugh, the last word. Make every aspect of your life personal and memorable.

About 500,000 people die every year and 70% of people would like to die at home, yet 50% of people die in hospital. Due to advancements in medicine in hospitals and hospices we can keep people alive for longer, but at what quality? Many people live to an old age and life expectancy is increasing. This means that many people do not experience the death of a family member or close friend until they are mid-life themselves.

There used to be some certainties with diseases and accidents but now modern medicines have blurred the lines. Society as a whole has never been less exposed to death. As a result, we have become afraid of what we don’t know, can’t see and haven’t experienced. Fear of the unknown means that people sometimes avoid those who are ill and dying and feel unable to support them. It also means that if relatives of a loved one do not know a persons’ preferences, they may make decisions about care that the dying person does not want. When the inevitable happens, those who are left behind often have to make decisions in a hurry when they are emotionally distraught and least able to make them. It can also be comforting to those near death that their passing will not add any extra stress and pain if their final wishes are known and will be carried out.

Terrorism and wars bring death closer to us, so we cannot go on ignoring it. In some cultures, and countries death through fights, stabbings, gun crime, famine, disease etc. can be ‘normal’. Does this make it easier to talk about? Yes, it can do. Grief can be a catalyst to talk. We don’t know when we are going to die, when we are young we think it will be never! However, we often live better when we know and accept that we are going to die and embrace our mortality. Be present, enjoy what you do, experiment, have no regrets.

Start to talk about death and dying before grief becomes your catalyst by checking in at an event near you.

In Swindon, Sue Holden will be running her regular Death Cafe at the Village Hotel (de Vere) at Shaw Leisure Park SN5 7DW on Tuesday 9th May from 7.00pm to 8.30pm. Admission is FREE.

The Prospect Hospice will also be running similar events throughout the week and in Trowbridge at The Town Hall, people can pop in and ‘Ask the Undertaker’, join a Death Café for coffee and cakes, watch a couple of films and find out about writing a will, powers of attorney, planning your funeral, writing your ceremony and many other interesting subjects.

If you would like further information about events in Swindon and Wiltshire please contact Sue on 07941273589 or via email: *protected email*

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