Dying Matters Event Highlights Importance of Discussing Death

Family-owned funeral directors G Wathall & Son have teamed up with other local organisations to break down the taboos of discussing dying, death and bereavement.

An information event will be held at QUAD in the Market Place on Friday May 18 between 10.30am and 2.30pm as part of Dying Matters awareness week (w/c May 14) which this year asks the question - ‘What Can You Do?’.

Wathall’s will be joined by several other organisations and businesses to raise the profile of later life and end of life planning, bereavement support and the care available for people with terminal illnesses.

These will include Derby Dandelions bereavement support group, Timms Solicitors, Age UK, Richmond Village, the Alzheimer’s Society, Treetops, Macmillan End of Life Care Facilitators and the Royal British Legion.

Helen Wathall, managing director and fifth generation of her family at the helm of G Wathall & Son, said: “We have long been an active part of Dying Matters Awareness Week as it is an important way of highlighting the need for us all to make our wishes known about arrangements for our end of life.

“We need to break down the taboos of talking about death whether that is the arrangements for the funeral or what happens to our estate after we have gone.

“I know from personal experience just how important it is to have those conversations.

“In 1995 my father Bill Wathall passed away aged just 62 years.  He had spent over 40 years as a Funeral Director – advising families about their loved ones’ funerals and giving hundreds of talks to local groups about the importance of making funeral wishes known.

“However, when he passed away we discovered that the subject of his funeral had not been discussed with any of us.  We all assumed that someone else had the information.

“This made what was already the most tragic of situations even worse as we had to try and establish what he would have wanted, whilst mourning his loss too.

“Fortunately, the Derby Telegraph published a short obituary about him – quoting a previous interview he had given where he said he wished to be cremated.

“Sadly, we have many similar situations with the families we help and I would therefore urge everyone to make their funeral wishes known now for peace of mind both for themselves and their families.

“By planning ahead, families are saved the stress of trying to second-guess what individuals would have wanted. They find great comfort in knowing that the funeral is carried out the way that their loved one would want it.

“For even greater peace of mind – taking out a pre-payment funeral plan ensures that a person’s wishes are clearly made and also that families are not worried about the cost at what is already a very traumatic time.”

G Wathall & Son publish a ‘My Funeral Wishes’ booklet which can be filled out and kept somewhere safe – either at home, with the family solicitors or at Wathall’s. 

For a free copy of the leaflet and a no obligation initial discussion about pre-payment funeral plans, please contact G Wathall & Son Tel: 01332 345268 or visit www.wathall.co.uk

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