In the fifth episode in the More Than a Shop podcast Elizabeth Alker discusses end of life – how to talk about it, how to plan for it.
Recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic, this episode features Co-op Funeralcare’s Raegan Drew and Methodist minister, writer and filmmaker Kathleen Loughlin. We also hear from a Death Café in Manchester. Death Cafés exist all over the world, creating a safe, informal space for people to talk about death and grief.
Guests were asked to bring a challenge they feel is particularly pertinent when it comes to people dealing with or thinking about death or dying.
Kathleen Loughlin believes we have a tendency to avoid those going through difficult times: “We have to redefine our understanding of where people who are living with grief, or a health crisis, can be actually valued, contributing people as well as enjoying the life that’s still theirs to have.”
Co-op Funeralcare’s Raegan Drew works every day with families planning loved ones’ funerals: “For us, it’s people not saying what they want. Not talking about death enough. I know it’s morbid but not expressing anything to do with your funeral means families have no idea what you want.”
Series producer, Geoff Bird, visited a Death Café – one of 100s globally. Debbie Jones, who runs a group in south Manchester, says: “We create a space where local people are building a community around a topic that might be close to their heart but difficult to talk about. We get a spread of ages – anything between 18 and 80 something.”
The More Than a Shop podcast is a collaboration between Co‑operatives UK, The Co‑op, Co‑op News, The Co‑operative College and The Co‑operative Heritage Trust. The series was produced by Geoff Bird on behalf of Sparklab Productions.
Please note: The series was recorded before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.