Want to talk about death and dying?
We all find talking about the end of life difficult, even impossible. Many of us want to find out more, and want to find a way to ask questions and to address the end of life. So Bognor based artist and soul midwife Antonia Rolls and palliative care nurse and author Gill Lake have a mission to make it easier, and to support people and their families to think about and face that process.
Over the last few years Antonia has worked with people at the end of life to create portraits and interviews on how they face the dying process. The resulting exhibition called A Graceful Death promotes end of life awareness, stimulating discussions about what has often been a taboo subject.
The exhibition has been shown all over England and abroad, and her blog is read as far afield as the States, the Gambia, Ukraine and China. Gill has worked in palliative care for over forty years, is a dedicated ambassador for making the dying process more understood, and Gill has written the much appreciated Coping with Dying, a Handbook for Carers and Cared For.
Antonia and Gill have developed a project for those in the local community by providing an opportunity to have friendly, informal discussions about dying, over tea and Gill’s excellent home made cake. Antonia and Gill have a similar passion for enabling this difficult subject to be opened up.
On June 2nd, at St Paul’s Art Centre, 55b Chapel Road in Worthing , Antonia and Gill – with plenty of tea and cake – will hold an informal session from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm for anyone who wants to talk about dying, whether it be about oneself or a relative, or it’s just a subject to which one wants to give more thought. This will be the eighth Conversation, and so far the topics discussed have ranged from pain and euthanasia, to laughter and living well, and what to say when someone you know has a terminal diagnosis.
Antonia Rolls said, “The session is free, though there will be a pot for contributions. You can stay for as long or for as little as you like. Gill and I are used to talking about the end of life and hopefully we can help you talk about it too. You may want to think about how to talk to a loved one who is dying, or may need help with talking about your own illness. Or you may have no idea what to say at all, and want to come and simply listen.”
Antonia and Gill hope that if the project is successful they can develop a local community support service where people can go to have conversations about the end of life.