Play tackles the last taboo

Rennie Grove Hospice Care encourages families to talk about death and dying
Rennie Grove Hospice Care encourages families to talk about death and dying

The subject of death and dying is not an easy one to broach, but for Rennie Grove Hospice Care it is a responsibility the charity takes very seriously.

The organisation is using the annual Dying Matters Awareness Week this week to encourage people to have ‘the big conversation’ and share ideas around this last great taboo.

Founded by the National Council for Palliative Care (NCPC), who formed the Dying Matters Coalition comprising member organisations like Rennie Grove in 2009, the week aims to raise public awareness of a subject that will affect us all, but which is often deemed unmentionable.

As part of the awareness week, Rennie Grove is offering people the chance to watch a free drama production about the impact of early-onset dementia on family life.

The charity has teamed up with Finity, a voluntary community association that supports people to discuss end-of-life issues, and the acclaimed playwright Brian Daniels to put on his play, Don’t Leave Me Now, which is inspired by two true stories.

The performance is at 6pm on Thursday, May 12, at The Court Theatre in Tring, and tickets are available free.

Rennie Grove’s education lead, Jo Oates, said: “Brian’s brilliant play brings home the message that none of us knows what the future has in store and that the more we discuss what we want, the more chance we have of achieving it – both in life and death. Much of the Rennie Grove nurses’ work in patients’ homes is around supporting patients and their families to discuss what they want to happen during their illness and after their death.

“This year, Rennie Grove is taking the opportunity to encourage everyone to think about death, dying and bereavement.

“This shouldn’t be seen as a morbid or depressing topic, but as something we can prepare ourselves for in much the same way as we would for any other major event in life.

“By thinking about death as a natural part of life, it becomes normalised and some of the stigma and fear associated with it is eliminated.”

To book a free place to see Don’t Leave Me Now, contact education@rennniegrove.org or call 01442 890222.