Dying Matters

‘Dying Matters Awareness Week’ in the UK ended yesterday. For those who don’t know, Dying Matters is a coalition of 32,000 members across England and Wales — including the NHS, bereavement charities, social service organisations, academic bodies and more — which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to…

GUEST POST: The point of the first question

During my teaching exchange in Finland, I met so many bright, passionate and talented people. But there were two women in particular whose stories and creativity really spoke to me. I have asked both of them to write guest posts for my blog about themselves, their fathers, their writing and more. Please enjoy the first…

Grieve, Read, Write

My Dad would have been 48 this Boxing Day. I wished him a happy birthday three years ago, chatting casually about the ham he was cooking, what he and my grandmother did for Christmas, what his plans were for New Year’s Eve. He seemed happy. He’d finally won a disability settlement he’d been after for…

Loss and Poetry

Since my father’s death in 2013, I’ve learned a lot about grief and writing. I’ve spent late nights reading poetry books and memoirs and early mornings combing over blogs, essays, and academic journals. I have led Death Writing workshops, given a grief talk at Ignite Cardiff, and even changed my PhD topic to better understand…

Memory

Last month I led my first Death Writing session of 2015. Participants of different backgrounds, ages and experiences came together to discuss their relationship with memory, write about significant objects and places, and compose poems for people they’d lost. One of the attendees, the lovely Jodie Kay Ashdown, has kindly posted the piece she wrote…

Letting Go

My best friend growing up was a painter. She had long wild hair and enjoyed a command over colors that I never had. I always admired her and, once, when she was abroad at an art college in Rome I sat in the extension of her parent’s house and got lost in her canvases –…

Death Writing

My father passed away in July of this year. It was a strange experience to have someone tell me this over the phone from thousands of miles away. After I hung up I sat quietly for a while before writing “All that’s left of him is stories now” in the last page of my notebook….