I guess you could say I had an early introduction to death and dying, with the unexpected deaths of my dear parents, mum dying in 1985 when I was 20 years old, followed by the death of dad in 1992. I certainly didn’t know how to be with this at this young age and dealt with it the best I could at the time. I do however, remember these times as being very isolating and devastating experiences which influenced my life greatly.
It wasn’t until I got involved with spiritual teachings in 2005 that I could experience the concept of death and dying in a completely new way, and then put these into practice when supporting friends and other family members facing their death in the following years. I have taken part in many Death and Dying meditations and courses over the last twelve years and for the last five years I have been a committed Practitioner of the ancient Dzogchen Teaching and Lineage which has the nature of Impermanence at its core teaching.
I have always loved working with and supporting other people. Since 2011 I have worked as a Facilitator for an amazing charity, Alive Activities based in Bristol, who are devoted to improving and lighting up the lives of older people living in residential care homes, day centres and hospitals. I would facilitate engaging, fun and stimulating activities with people using music, movement, guided reminiscence, multi-sensory and one-to-ones. I have worked with many different client groups including people living with dementia, learning difficulties, mental health and people who are in hospital wards and visiting day centres.
I am a trained volunteer for Bristol’s local hospice and I am currently part of the Network Neighbour team, where we visit people who are spending their final days at home, offering them supporting in their everyday practical tasks and having a cup of tea and a chat with them.
I also love to study and I have completed the Lasting Powers of Attorney course with the Society of Will Writers and have a Level 3 TQUK in Practicalities of End of Life Care.
My research skills have been put to great use as I have been thoroughly enjoying researching the Death and Dying industry for the last years, talking with professionals from all the different areas, from funeral directors to the NHS, charities, hospitals, government agencies and everyday people, family and friends.