Loss and Grief Workshop at Mary Potter Hospice

Loss and Grief Workshop at Mary Potter Hospice, Newtown, Wellington – 30th & 31st May 2012.

I was recently invited to speak, together with another funeral director, at the Mary Potter Hospice Loss & Grief Workshop. The format was a relaxed Q & A session on Helping Others with Grief: A Funeral Home Director’s Perspective.

This was an opportunity for grief counsellors, social workers, spiritual carers, nurses, doctors and volunteers from Palmerston North to Christchurch to ask a wide range of questions; Why we had chosen this career, to explain the natural burial concept and how it differs from conventional burial, benefits of pre-planning your funeral and making your wishes clear and whether the ashes, returned after cremation, are entirely the remains of the deceased – which we assured, definitely are.

It was a good forum to dispel misconceptions and concerns. Over the last century we have been distanced from death and funeral arrangements, from a previous era when we took care of our own family members and arrangements. This may be beginning to change as families choose to be engaged in more aspects of the funeral event, becoming active participants rather than disassociated spectators.

Mary Potter Hospice provides a wide range of learning opportunities for health care professionals who provide palliative and end of life care. See their programme of Workshops on related issues at www.marypotter.org.nz under Education and Research.

Thank you to Mary Potter Hospice for the opportunity to attend and for making us both feel so welcome.

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