Search

The Last taboo: Putting death on the table in Harold Hill

12:00 24 January 2016

A death café in the Jubilee Restaurant, Havering College, to encourage people to speak about death over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

A death café in the Jubilee Restaurant, Havering College, to encourage people to speak about death over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Archant

Do you have a death wish?

It is not a question normally asked in seriousness but for people attending a death cafe, the answer was explored in great detail.

From planning your funeral to cultural traditions, people of all ages met at Havering College’s Jubilee Restaurant, Harold Hill, to discuss end of life options over a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

Dr Gurdev Saini led the session and explained its purpose was not bereavement counselling but to provide a forum where people could share plans and opinions on death.

He said: “Death is very much a taboo subject and there needs to be a cultural shift to get people talking about it. There are lots of options to end of life care and it’s better to ask questions now and make plans.”

While nothing can fully prepare you for losing a love one, Helen Moore, shared her experiences of how planning made the grieving process easier: “My mum was out shopping and she collapsed from a brain haemorrhage – she died four hours later.

“But because she spoke about it in everyday life we knew what she wanted.

“I think it helps families to speak about it in advance and I have made sure things are prepared for my children after my death.”

As more people entered into the discussion themes of cultural traditions and family practices were touched upon.

Deborah Regan strongly believed people should not be afraid of death and when her mum died she kept the body in her house.

She said:“My family is from Ireland and when someone dies you lay the body out and wash and dress them – visitors come round to see the body and everyone in the family has a part to play.

“People think that it is scary but death is not something to be afraid of.”

Samara Rahman added: “I am Muslim and when someone dies I go round and see them or give the family a call as soon as I hear.

“My children ask me why am I doing that and think I should give them space – traditions have become more diluted in today’s society.”

Cathy Manfield grew up in a house where death was a taboo subject. It was as she got older and travelled that she started thinking about it: “I was riding round on the back of a motorbike and I suddenly thought, I don’t even have a will. I now work at Saint Francis Hospice and it has opened my eyes up to what a hospice can offer at the end of life. I think it’s important to make arrangements as it allows the family to grieve and potentially not argue but focus on the family members.”

This was the third death cafe hosted by Havering Clinical Commissioning Group with more planned.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

Lauren Squire Georgina Quarmby Isabel Squire- Yates Carole Squire Ben Yates

It’s your last chance to sign up to Sunday’s Santathon in aid of Saint Francis Hospice.

15:41
Robert Darling. Picture: Metropolitan Police

An armed robber who managed to steal thousands of pounds from three different travel agents has been jailed for 13 years.

13:30
The opening night at Sankeys Ibiza   Credit: Sankeys Ibiza

An iconic nightclub franchise which has world-famous dance floors in Ibiza and New York is opening in the premises of the Circuit nightclub.

Arthur Latham in 2013 celebrating 50 years of the London Borough of Havering.

Former council leader Arthur Latham died at the weekend.

15:00
Lodge Group by the Dementia Bus which is giving people the opportunity to experience what it is like to suffer from dementia. Home Care Manager Carly Rochester

Carers, which provide support to elderly people, experienced first hand life with dementia.

12:00
Father Christmas. Picture PA.

Children in Havering have until Friday (December 9) to get their present requests into Father Christmas.

Dawn Williams with family, a former employee and a loyal customer.

A barber who has been snipping, shaving and styling hair at her shop for 10 years, has closed for good so she can pursue a career in teaching.

07:00
A mother of three has launched a petition to ban smoking outside primary school gates. Credit: PA images

A mother of three has launched a petition to ban smoking in front of primary school gates.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now