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Working as a Funeral Celebrant and Undertaker in the Time of Covid

I interviewed Angela Ward, who co-runs Go Simply Funerals with her husband Kevin, about her work as a funeral celebrant and undertaker just before the Covid outbreak. Obviously our world has dramatically changed since then. As Angela and Kevin are at the sharp-end of death I wanted to catch up with her again to find out about how Covid is impacting the funeral industry and her experience of working with care homes.

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Living in Flux Rather Than COVID

I don’t know about you, but I am maxed out with suggestions on how to cope with lockdown and COVID-19. Yesterday, it was how to check in with my emotional and spiritual wellbeing with a Kabbalistic formulae. The day before I was offered a COVID update via a channel medium. The day before that, it was to how to ease my quarantine aches and pains, and how my brain has already made this lockdown normal. I’ve also been advised to breathe, how to eat, how to exercise, how to confront my fear of just about everything and what to do when I panic. And, resilience has become the COVID-19 word of the moment.

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Taking responsibility for our death is all about deep adaptation

Sue Brayne in conversation with psychotherapist and Positive Deep Adaptation facilitator Justine Corrie as part of the Living Consciously for a Better World series of interviews, which provide food for thought in this time of uncertainty, challenge and change.

Justine Corrie lived and travelled extensively in Asia in the 90’s and during 2015 and 2016 volunteered in the Jungle camp in Calais and Grande-Synthe in Dunkirk where she initiated support systems for the network of grass-roots volunteers across Europe.  She has been working as a Core Process psychotherapist since 2012 – a therapeutic model which brings together Buddhist psychology of self, transpersonal and western trauma-informed models to orient towards the person’s core state of inherent health. She is also a group facilitator and has been a Positive Deep Adaptation facilitator since September 2019 after she read Professor Jem Bendell’s paper, Deep Adaptation: A map for navigating climate tragedy.

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Death in the Time of Corona with Transform Tallk

Event Information

It’s time to get better at dealing with death, so please join us for this event. A virtual Transform Talk #7 – Death in the time of Corona.

About this Event

As we watch the daily death toll rise, one major impact of Coronavirus is the recognition that we, or someone close to us, may die before we expected. This is creating a great deal of stress, anxiety and fear for ourselves and those we love.The issue of our own mortality has always been a difficult one to address. Of course, we all rationally know that we are going to die. We’ve just never been very good at facing that fact. Or talking about it openly with other people.

Unlikely as it is, Coronavirus has presented us with an opportunity. And it is one that we shouldn’t ignore. We need to learn how to talk about death and dying and how to build a better relationship with our own mortality. Equally, we need to get better at discussing death with friends and family and supporting the increasing number of people who will have someone close to them die.

The team at Transform Communications started planning this event long before Coronavirus. As individuals, we have experienced the tremendous grief when people we love dearly have died. We’ve had neighbours and friends face tragic circumstances. We have also had to face our own inadequacies in coping with death, grief, loss and every other emotion.

It’s time to get better at dealing with death and dying, so please join us for this event. A virtual Transform Talk #7 – Death in the time of Corona. We are hosting this as part of Dying Matters Awareness Week, which runs from 11-17th May 2020.

Transform Talk #7 – Death in the time of Corona

Date: 13th May 2020

Time: 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Place: Zoom webinar – Register to get your link

We are delighted that world-class speaker and writer Sue Brayne will be joining us. Sue is the author of ‘Living Fully, Dying Consciously’, which explores how confronting our fear of death and accepting our physical mortality, contributes to a much more conscious way of living. She also runs Death Cafés, where people gather (virtually for the time being) over tea and cake to talk openly about death.

‘Death in the time of Corona’ will be co-hosted by Tracey Stead, Leadership development consultant and coach. Tracey will explore our relationship with our own mortality, and also how we can support friends and co-workers who are faced with death or grieving for those who have died.

Veronica Hannon, MD of Transform Communications, will co-host a session where we look at our own relationship with mortality, how we can communicate more openly about death and the language that we use.

This will be an interactive session. Where you can ask questions, be supported in your own situation and come away with some practical ideas and suggestions about how to approach the difficult subject of our own mortality and ultimately death.

From this event you will experience:

  • An open discussion to talk about a difficult topic.
  • A sensitive approach, that also looks at the important role humour has to play.
  • Ideas for tools, resources and practical tips that can make this subject easier to talk about.
  • A few Dos & Don’ts when talking about death and how we can support others. We believe in sharing ideas and the power of interesting conversations.
  • That’s why we put on Transform Talks for free. We will ask for a donation when you book a ticket and we urge you to be generous.

For this event we are raising money for Dorothy House Hospice Care. Dorothy House provides fantastic end of life support to patients, carers and their families. Having witnessed first-hand the incredible care that their people provide in the most challenging of times, this is a charity that is particularly close to our hearts. And they are in drastic need of support during COVID-19. Please give generously.

Transform Talk #7 – Death in the time of Corona

Date: 13th May 2020

Time: 6.00pm – 7.30pm

Place: Zoom webinar – Register to get your link

 

Date And Time

Wed, 13 May 2020

18:00 – 19:30 BST

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Organiser Image

OrganiserTransform Communications | Public Relations | Thought Leadership | Communications

Organiser of Transform Talks #7 – Death in the time of Corona

For expert marketing communications and public relations, Transform Communications is your partner of choice. We deliver outstanding PR and thought-leadership campaigns working with B2B organisations.

We specialise in making the complex simple, engaging and easy to understand.

We have decades of experience understanding how to improve the processes of business and the productivity of their people. This includes conducting award-winning campaigns in talent management, recruitment, HR and business technology, employee engagement, business productivity and processes, training and consulting.

Equally, we partner with professional services firms and those that work in or supply the third and public sector.

We run a series of events called Transform Talks from Bradford on Avon, attracting keynote speakers and attendees from Wiltshire, Somerset, Bath, Bristol, Oxford and London. Giving you thought-leadership in action.

If you don’t want things to go back to the way they were, start making friends with your mortality!

According to Governmental, main-stream media and even some religious party-lines, we are ‘at war’ not just with Covid-19, but with death itself.  Of course, it is essential to take responsibility for ourselves while the pandemic burns itself out, to pay homage to those working on the ‘front-line’ and to grieve those who have died. But it seems to me that this rhetoric is feeding on our fear of death as a way of controlling us – as it has done for centuries.

Continue reading “If you don’t want things to go back to the way they were, start making friends with your mortality!”

My work is about standing-under to hold grieving families

Since I interviewed Angela Ward, we have been in the grip of the Coronavirus outbreak. Therefore, what Angela has to say about her work with Go Simply Funerals is even more poignant for all of us.

Angela Ward and her husband run the award-winning Go Simply Funerals, based in Melksham. Angela also puts on Pushing up the Daisies Festivals in the area. She has worked as a homeopath,  psychotherapist and lecturer, and is passionate about music and singing. She has been a Celebrant and Inter Faith Minister for over 12 years and leads beautiful ceremonies, conducting over 2,000 funerals all over the country. Angela writes articles for magazines including ‘More To Death’ and has presented papers at the CDAS conferences on Death and Dying.

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Interview with Roberta Grimes on Seek Reality Radio Show: Empowering Living and Dying.

Sue Brayne Talks About Empowered Living and Dying

Sue Brayne is a British expert in the area of rethinking how we live and die in the Western world. She contends that science and our religions make us unnecessarily fearful of death, and that when it is well handled, the last stage of our lives can be joyful and profoundly liberating. Her new book is Living Fully, Dying Consciously – The Path to Spiritual Wellbeing. It is a well written and powerful introduction to a better way to enter the last stage of our lives

Coronavirus: it won’t wipe us out, but it is a much needed dose of humility

I have been thinking a lot about hubris recently, sparked off by the global panic surrounding Coronavirus. Hubris comes from the Greek word Hyris which loosely means provoking the wrath of the gods through arrogance, foolish pride and over-confidence, resulting in the transgressor experiencing a painful reminder of their mortality.

That’s what I think is happening to humanity right now. We have got way above ourselves and, metaphorically speaking, the gods are throwing Coronavirus at us as a sharp reminder of the vulnerability of the human condition and the impermanence of life.

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Some Special Needs are More Visible Than Others, That’s All

Sue in conversation with Henrietta (Henri) Lang, writer, psychotherapist and co-organiser of the Death and Dying Festival in SomersetHenri is married to a musician. They have three sons and their thirteen-year old daughter has cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. 

Henrietta works as a therapist in Wells Somerset, www.henriettalang.com. The Festival of Death and Dying takes place in November www.deathfest.com. Her book ‘All the Mystics and me’ about finding an inner truth that serves life in 21st century will be published in 2020.

Continue reading “Some Special Needs are More Visible Than Others, That’s All”

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