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Dressing for Death

By on October 18, 2014
Calling All Angels Shroud

I have been so very grateful to know Helen Dunne and the great work she does for people at end of life through Shroud Memento.

She really understands that The End of Life Matters.

In supporting my wonderful, classy, chic friend Viv to be able to come home to die, I was lucky to be able to organise for Helen came to the hospital and work with Viv and her family on designing her end of life ‘gown’. Viv had collected some beautiful material over her life and she loved being able to work with Helen and her kids to design exactly what she wanted her end of life ‘gown to look like. It even had pockets in it for people to put their letters and other mementos in.

Helen Dunne from Shroud Memento

Helen Dunne from Shroud Memento


“Thankfully, we now hear more conversations and professionals speaking about our funeral ceremonies and the problematic lack of conversation around death, such a key moment of Life as is birth.  Death and dying are often categorised as a ‘health’ issue rather than a social issue.   It is not yet deemed a normalcy to talk openly about our own impending death or explore the range of funeral ceremonies and practices.  The traditional tendency for most of people is to leave preparation and decisions up to chance, or on the shoulders of family and friends (should they be beyond decision making) to speak on their behalf often guessing what they think would be right at the time, or with an undertaker or cleric who won’t know the deceased or their history.

When asked about a preference for burial or cremation, or even aquamation, pretty much everyone has a clear opinion about what they want.  Yet if asked, has that been arranged in a personal will or a discussion with family  about pre-death requests, the resounding answer is often no.

Most of us don’t know what choices we can make for a funeral ceremony and parting with our dead.  We don’t know what personal and creative arrangements we can make or ask for when a loved one dies.  Does an undertaker need to e contacted immediately after a life has ended?  Can a person stay with the deceased for as long as they need to say goodbye?  Does a coffin have to be used?  Are traditional cemeteries the only choice for burial places?  So much to share and talk about!

Over a period of a week, (4-9 November) drop in during the opening hours to have a cup of tea, ask questions, share personal experiences and contribute to a free community event that will raise the topic from its hidden enclave and leave ripples of thought amongst visitors to share with family and community.  A community shroud will be created by visitors to the event sewing a couple of stitches, weaving your presences and acknowledging your voice.  We look forward to seeing you.  Peace.”

Helen Dunne – Shroud Memento

Live Well Leave Well

Live Well Leave Well

About Trypheyna McShane

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