Dying Matters Awareness Week (11-17 May) – Every Death Matters

To mark Dying Matters Awareness Week, a national campaign that runs from 11 to 17 May, Jersey Hospice Care is asking different members of our island community to talk about how every death matters, how we can plan for a good death, and the impact COVID-19 has had on us all as we experience the loss of loved ones at home and further away.

In this time of great tumult, death and dying has been thrust up centre stage and never before has care for the very ill and dying been so important to so many in our island. And as we’re reminded of our own mortality, we are also reminded that every death matters.

Gail Caddell, Director of Palliative Care Services at Jersey Hospice Care, said: “As we face up to the reality of death and dying during these unprecedented times, we need to have these difficult conversations to encourage our community to openly talk about this often taboo subject”.

Throughout the week, Jersey Hospice Care will be sharing information and videos, on the following topics:

Monday 11 May – Sudden Bereavement
Tuesday 12 May – You Matter (focusing on how its nursing team cares for the ‘whole’ person)
Wednesday 13 May – Planning and Thinking Ahead
Thursday 14 May – Stillbirth and Miscarriage
Friday 15 May – Mental Health

Mary Le Hegarat, MBACP Accredited Registered counsellor of Jersey Hospice Care’s Emotional Support and Community Bereavement Service, said: “We wish to acknowledge that every death matters and that no two people will experience grief and loss in the same way.  You may need support of others which may help you feel less alone in your grief. Many people choose our service as they find it helps to talk with someone who is not part of their family or close circle of friends”.

It is easy to forget that there are those that continue to live with life limiting conditions, or are dying for other reasons, particularly those that have experienced the death of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth. Although much has changed during this difficult time, Jo Nash, Founder of Philip’s Footprints said: “The stress people are experiencing can renew feelings of grief or just make us more sensitive to everything. Filling memory boxes with precious items and finding new ways to find comfort, whether it is making a memory area at home, writing a name in the sand, planting a special tree or flowers, or getting creative with writing, art and crafts or doing something for others in your baby’s name, still really matters”.

Islanders can get involved by following Jersey Hospice Care on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and more information and videos are available on Jersey Hospice Care’s website.

Additional Information – Daily topics during Dying Matters Awareness Week

Monday (11 May) – Mary Le Hegarat, MBACP Accredited Registered counsellor of Jersey Hospice Care’s Emotional and Bereavement Service will be talking about the pain of grief and loss for those that have experienced an unexpected death, particularly during this time of isolation and restrictions.

Tuesday (12 May) – As the world and Jersey celebrates International Nurses Day, caring for patients during the pandemic also brings with it new challenges. Jersey Hospice Care will be focusing on how its team cares for the ‘whole’ person, including their physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs.

Wednesday (13 May) – Jersey Hospice Care’s Head of Education, Julie Luscombe, will be encouraging us to think about what really matters to us, whenever our time comes. What’s important to us in living and dying and how to listen when a loved one wants to talk about death and dying.

Thursday (14 May) – Jersey Hospice Care will be focusing on how the death of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth can be devastating and the support that is available, through working in partnership with Philip’s Footprints to provide emotional and bereavement support to parents and families for those that have experienced, or who are about to experience the loss of a baby or child.

Friday (15 May) – Our mental health matters, particularly during this time of great uncertainty. Mary Le Hegarat, MBACP Accredited Registered counsellor at Jersey Hospice Care, will be talking about ‘anticipatory grief’ that can be experienced when being diagnosed with a life limiting condition and in advance of death.