Our local death festival is fast approaching. For a week there will be all kinds of events exploring all kinds of aspects of death and dying. There will be workshops, talks, films, creative stuff and performances.
All events are free but donations are welcome. The money goes towards necessities like printing programs, tea and coffee and biscuits. Some events you have to book because there are limited places.
Everybody is volunteering their time and energy. At the heart of the festival is the the hope that together we can build more compassion communities.
The full programme can be found on Pushing up Daisies website
There will be some events looking at suicide
I will be talking about my personal experiences of trying to find ways to live while longing to die. And I am hoping there might be interest in setting up a local peer support group for people who live with suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Peer support for people who think about and long to die is still a hot potato – too much risk assessment involved and a suspicious stance towards those of us who feel like dying… ‘wouldnt a support group just encourage them?…’ But it’s slowly changing with the public realisation that it’s not just a few people who feel so overwhelmed by life that they want to die but actually so common that it must approaching the threshold of being considered ‘normal’. And services and organisation don’t have the resources to offer support to that many people so we to need to start thinking about how we create support in our communities.
I am inspired by my experiences of the support that can happen in hearing voices groups and also by the Alternatives to suicide group in Western Massachusetts that I have been lucky enough to visit.
And there will be loads of other exciting and amazing stuff – like these ones.
To get a better feel of what the festival is like you can revisit the 2017 festival in the video below.