During this year's Dying Matters Week, Treetops Hospice Care is asking 'Are We Ready?' and encouraging people to create and share memories with loved ones.

Dying Matters Week is a national campaign that this year runs from 13 to 19 May. This year’s theme – Are We Ready? – asks us to consider if we are ready for our own deaths, or those we care about.

Practical responses address wills, organ donation, funeral planning and future care but there is also a much more emotional aspect.

The Treetops #MakingMemories Project encourages people to create and share experiences with loved ones, and to share these memories with Treetops through photographs and personal stories.

Often legacies are thought of in terms of finances or items and property, but  legacies can be in many forms – stories that will passed down through the family, teaching vital skills or perhaps recording a life story.

If you have shared special times together, passed on a skill, shared family memory, or are planning something soon, Treetops would like to hear from you.

Pictures and short explanations (approx. 150 words) can be emailed to info@treetopshospice.org.uk. Please note, these will be shared online here and through Treetops social media channels including Facebook.

Ideas on how to build your own legacy:

  • Digitising and/or sharing old family photographs or films
  • Writing or recording your life story or your voice
  • Sharing family history, recipes or planting trees
  • Teaching someone a craft or skill
  • Sharing details or locations of places you have visited or stayed

Talking about what you want to happen after you die, makes it more likely that your wishes will be met

Julie Mehigan, Compassionate Communities lead, explained more about the importance of Dying Matters Week:

“During Dying Matters Week, we want to encourage people to have open and honest discussions with their loved ones about dying and what their wishes would be when they get to the end of life.

“The majority of people find it difficult to have this kind of frank discussion but as a result many people simply don’t get the care they want at the end of life, the funeral they have in mind, or even take time to write a will and get their personal affairs in order.

“Talking with your loved ones about what you want to happen after you die, makes it more likely that your wishes will be met and it will be a comfort for your family and friends to know this.”

For further information and advice on how to start the #bigconversation with your loved ones, head to the Dying Matters website.

How about starting your own conversation?

  • Who would you like to talk to about what is important for you?
  • Have you thought about your funeral or the care you would like at the end of life?
  • Would you like to donate your organs?
  • Is your will up to date?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • How would you like people to celebrate your life?
  • What does it mean to have a good death?

Treetops services include Support and Information, Wellbeing Space, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.