During October they held a festival in and around Oxford called the Kicking the Bucket festival - a celebration of life and death. I booked Ken and me onto a craft workshop called making memories, not knowing quite what to expect. We were told we could bring photos, poetry, or anything else we may want to use in our craft. The session was facilitated by an art therapist, going for two hours, and there were only 4 other participants so it was a really safe environment . I wasn't sure if Ken was just attending to humour me, but once we got there he threw himself into the experience being the first to introduce himself and talk about the death of both his parents.
We both used pictures, Ken one of his parents that we love, and I used two of Dad that were taken in the weeks before he died, including a picture of him trying an oyster for the first time in his life - better late than never!!
We both really enjoyed the experience and would recommend anyone who lives near Oxford to attend a session next year if able.
The following Thursday - Nov 1st which is the Day of the Dead (festival held in Mexico - look it up as very interesting) I spoke at the National Celebrating the Day of the Dead event in London about what we did at work for Dying Matters week earlier in the year. Needless to say I was extremely nervous but really proud of myself for doing it. The whole event was so motivating and interesting, and the organisation was great - we had skull shaped biscuits on the tables, table centres designed by one of the local schools, margaritas and Mexican food after the event along with a wandering musician.
So basically the last week has been full of really different experiences but really great ones. I promise not to mention death for a while, but I must be due to visit an old graveyard and take pictures of fascinating gravestones.
Hope all well with you and yours. Keep safe, and keep smiling.
Pamela & Ken