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Tue 19 Jun 2018 @ 8:37
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Author(s): Belinda Davies
It's not easy to talk about death, dying and funerals. But if we neglect these subjects, we can be unprepared for some of the most significant events we will ever have to face - our own death and the deaths of those close to us.
GraveTalk is a resource from the Church of England to help people start thinking and talking about these key topics. It offers 50 unique cards for use in small groups, each with a thought-provoking question to get the conversation started. Topics covered include:
Life: What is important in your life? How would you like to be remembered?
Death: What experiences of death have you had so far? What do you think death means?
Society: How has our culture shaped our thinking about death?
Funerals: What will happen when you die? Do you need to make any plans or choices now?
Grief: What is the reality of loss and how do you experience it?
The cards are supported by the GraveTalk Facilitator's Guide (published separately) which includes advice and guidance on running a GraveTalk event.
GraveTalk is part of the Church of England's work around funerals and dying.
Posters and postcards to publicise a GraveTalk event are available to order separately from www.churchprinthub.org
Belinda Davies is Continuing Ministerial Development Adviser for the Diocese of Portsmouth.
‘Very, very easy. Just set the plans, first one we had was in Caffè Nero ...The local press publicised it ... I think about seventeen or eighteen people for the first one ... a really interesting broad range of ages, you know, right across the spectrum ... we then followed that up with one in the library, which again we had some people who’d come to the first one then came to the second one.’ Vicar, Cumbria
‘I gave it to them [the PCC] and I went and made coffee while they started discussing it. And I just couldn’t shut them up. They thought it was great. When I came to draw them to a conclusion, they wanted to carry on. They thought it was absolutely brilliant. I was really surprised.’ Vicar, Cumbria
‘We did one in our community café, and there were ten or eleven, it was really nice. The conversation flowed, and they liked the questions and there were a lot of comments that it was very helpful.’ Vicar, Hampshire
I have facilitated a death cafe for some years now and the regulars and visitors have never needed prompting to speak of matters relating to end of life matters, but these cards provide some excellent further avenues of discussion. The regulars have enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about each other on topics not previously considered.
Appreciate that there's no obvious 'religious' logo, as they are to be used in local cafe
fantastic resource used with a group to stimulate discussion. I liked the fact there were different categories of questions.
I am a Certified Death Midwife and want to advocate for more open involvement in our own end-of-life concerns. While I intend to take a non-denominational approach to these conversations and “seminars,” the Grave Talk cards are the best tools I have found for easing people into the topic. I’m grateful for the work put into developing them.