good life, good death, good grief

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Aberdeen opens up

A group of individual members of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief from Aberdeen got together at the Bon Accord Centre on Sunday 18th May 2013 armed with a Before I Die wall, lots of information for people to take away, and time to talk and listen.

Vanessa Smith, Humanist Celebrant and member of GLGDGG said:

"We had been warned that the people of the North East of Scotland would not be open to even thinking about, never mind talking about, end of life issues. What we found flew straight in the face of this and we had the most profound, moving, funny, deep, beautiful, sometimes painful, sometimes euphoric encounters with people we have never met before!

"As a group of individual volunteers from different backgrounds we all had different perspectives on the problems that can be created by avoiding the topic of death. We wanted to get the people of the North East thinking, talking and making choices and decisions while life is good so that when there are tough times it is easier for everyone."

And talk, think, laugh and share they did! Between 9am and 4pm over 200 people got involved by writing on Before I Die walls and over 120 took part in an end of life worries survey.

People of all ages, cultures and backgrounds took part from tiny tots to folk of 93. People wrote in English, Scots, Doric, French, Polish, Arabic and Cantonese! There were even two marriage proposals!

Many people had taken action already such as writing wills, sorting out power or attorney or considering organ donation however many had not and took material away. There were many people who had thought about the end of their life but a common thread was that they had not actually discussed what they wanted with anyone. At least two people left with the intention of writing their wishes down to be found in the event of their death – they did not feel comfortable discussing it but at least they could help those they love who would be left behind by leaving some guidance.

Many had a lovely time reading the comments others had left. Lots of photos were taken on mobile phones and uploaded to Facebook and the people of the North East really opened up.

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