WESTMILL WOODLAND BURIAL GROUND

April

April is here and with it some wonderful bright breezy weather.  So bright and breezy that my washing line broke today as it tossed around with my sheets and pillowcases!  I have been delighted to get some calls in to Radio Oxford after appearing again on the Kat Ormond show again.  We were talking about the cost of weddings and funerals after a report in the paper showed the average wedding costs £22,000!  I am not sure where people are finding that kind of money but I am sure we don't need to spend that much to have a wonderful meaningful day and of course the same applies to funerals.  We also touched briefly on the fact that the American Psychiatric Association recently changed their approach to greiving and said that when people are suffering acute symptoms for more than two weeks it should be seen a condition that needs professional support.  I feel a little ambiguous about this.  I really understand that some people enter a state of profound shock and feel their whole world has collapsed and it is essential they get the care they need.  And at the same time I also sense that the whole attitude in our society towards death and grief is part of the problem.  It is so important we keep talking and normalising a lot of the responses we can experience when we lose someone.  It is quite understandable and common that we experience appetite loss, memory loss, have difficulty sleeping and feel depressed, feel angry and withdrawn and many other things too including feeling like we are going a bit crazy.  This goes up and down over very variable lengths of time depending on the nature of the relationship and death.  Because we don't talk about it much we become less able to know how to support people when they are experiencing these things and they don't know what to expect and find a lot of people assume they will "get over it" pretty quickly.  I think this compounds how we feel and makes it much worse.  Enough of the rant - roll on Dying Matters week from May 10-17 when all over the country people will be talking about death and dying in lots of different ways.  See www.dyingmatters.org for information.  We are running a number of events locally.  Check our diary of events for full details.