Supporting a child after bereavement

This week we bring you advice on supporting a child after bereavement from our friends at Winston’s Wish. Each year, Winston’s Wish supports over 30,000 bereaved children and young people after the death of their mum, dad, brother or sister, so that they can face the future with confidence and hope.

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Death certificates in Scotland

There are now new rules applying to death certificates in Scotland. Among the positive changes, cremation fees have been abolished. Families no longer have to pay £170 fees for cremation forms that doctors previously signed to give permission for a body to be cremated.

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Notifying authorities when someone dies: Tell Us Once

Tony and Dorothy Bonser lost their 35 year old son Neil to cancer. In the four years since, they have periodically received communications for Neil, despite having informed the organisations involved. Tony tells us about the couple’s upset and frustration. (See info below for Tell Us Once – the government scheme to make sure people don’t have repeat information endlessly when a family member dies and they have to notify authorities.

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Jimmy’s good death

Friend of Final Fling, Jimmy Stewart, is interested in achieving a good death. He became interested in knowing more about the rules and options around end of life after watching his mum die. He’s one of a growing band of us actively interested in managing our options.

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Assisted Suicide Bill Scotland

The Assisted Suicide Bill in Scotland is going through its motions. MSPs will have a free vote in May. Many of us will live longer – but it may be quantity rather than quality we get. If you want to be in control, be informed and let your MSP know your views. It could matter to you more than you think.

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Disposing of a body

I’ve just been talking to a journalist, keen to know about the options for disposing of a body and this has prompted me to share this information. (It still surprises me that this isn’t stuff we all know by now since it’s the one sure fire thing in life – we will all die.)

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How to achieve a good death

 Does a good death exist? Peg, a music teacher with cancer achieved a good death. She went home. Her ability to be at home, spend time with people she loved around her, pass on a book of music to Hunter, share a hug, say out loud: “you’re special”… that was a good death . Death – and a […]

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Palliative Care 2020

I’ve signed the European Declaration on Palliative Care 2020. It’s not the sort of groovy campaign slogan I’d have printed on a t-shirt; not a badge of honour to wear. It’s policy recommendation territory. Sorry – did I wake you there? But I’d urge you to read it and sign if you feel you want to. If I […]

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Alive Inside: music and memory

Last week I watched an incredibly uplifting, moving and inspiring documentary called Alive Inside about the miraculous power of music in accessing memory and reinvigorating people lost to dementia or Alzheimers. I’m not over-exaggerating when I use the word ‘miracle’. And it wasn’t that Biblical once-in-a-lifetime kind of miracle but a reliable, repeatable miracle that happens over and over again. If you do one thing this week, spare 6 minutes and 45 whole seconds to watch this excerpt from the documentary.

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Assisted Dying Bill: urgent request

This week I’m making an urgent request to pick up a pen and urge members of the House of Lords to support The Assisted Dying Bill on 7 November.

The Bill would give us the right to choose to end our life if we felt its quality was so diminished that death would be preferable and two doctors agreed we were of sound mind and able to make an informed choice for ourselves.

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Dying to Live

If you’re dying to live – or even more, if you’re not dying to live – maybe because of hard times, emotional stress, confusion, illness – we think you ought to treat yourself to Dying to Live workshops that take place in Dorset in November and Cornwall in June each year. Read more about them and book now for early bird rates.

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Coping with the loss of a child

There’s been an interesting run of comments in The Guardian this week connected to a feature asking questions about coping with the loss of a child. The article features an interview with Denise Turner, who lost her son Joe to cot death aged 19 months. That was 9 years ago. Denise now lectures at Sussex University and for her […]

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