Demystifying Death Week returns in 2023 to shine a light on death, dying and bereavement in Scotland. Talking Mats will be launching the new resource ‘Funeral Planning’ with a seminar on the 30th of May, describing the development of the resource and hearing stories from people who have used it.
Gillian Robertson, an Interfaith Celebrant with a background in Special Education, instigated and drove this project with funding from the Big Lottery Awards for All. In a previous blog she describes her motivation and the early stages of the project.
Here’s a bit more information on the topics and who might use them.
Funeral planning – this topic supports the initial conversation in planning a funeral leading to decisions about what someone would or would not like. It is particularly useful when planning for the future but can also be used by a celebrant / religious leader or funeral director to discuss what the family want for their loved one after a death has occurred.
Funeral Service – this topic supports the conversation which would follow on from Funeral Planning, leading to decisions about what someone would like or not like for the actual funeral service. Recording the first mat on this topic is a useful tool to refer to as plans progress. Who carries out this conversation depends on the context it is being used in. For example, if planning the service of a family member who has recently died then this is a very helpful resource for the celebrant or religious leader.
Eulogy – This topic supports conversations which highlight the important themes that someone would want included in their Eulogy. It is most useful when planning a service for someone who has recently died and relevant for the celebrant / religious leader to carry out when planning the service. The testing phase also highlighted that this topic can be used as part of the grieving process in a reflective way to help someone with learning disabilities remember the person who has died.
At the close of the project, with the testing phases completed, Gillian reflected and summed up the importance of this resource beyond the planning of funerals.
“The values behind Talking Mats are about making sure that everyone has a voice. If we deny people the ability to be heard, we deny them their human rights. When people’s voices are heard, improvements in their lives can be made.”
Our launch seminar is on the 30th of May 1.30-2.30pm and we will be running Foundation Training based on the resource in the Autumn.