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Saturday 12 May 2018

This event has now passed




Dying for Life organises events that offer information, art, ideas and conversation about dying and death which may well have an impact on the way we choose to live our lives.

Feedback from previous events



A lively look at

death and dying

information, ideas and conversation
Saturday 12th May 2018
10am to 4.30pm

Arthur Rank Hospice, Cambridge

We’re delighted to be holding our second Dying Matters Awareness Week free event this year in collaboration with the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and kindly sponsored by Woodland Wishes Natural Burials and Thomson Webb and Corfield Solicitors. This follows the overwhelmingly positive response to the Dying for Life festival last year. Thank you to all of you who came along and took part in the day and contributed to the lively warm and relaxed atmosphere that we created together.

The day will be an integrated full day event including a mixture of short talks, longer talks, information and informal conversations.

Book a free day ticket here

Mourning Has Broken - finding resilience in the fire of grief

Carmella B’Hahn, writer, workshop leader and counsellor
Carmella has extensive personal and professional experience with loss and grieving, which includes the sudden death of her young son; 20 years counselling others through loss; consultant and facilitator for the Inner Resilience Project in New York City following the World Trade Centre attacks; and author of two books on the subject of thriving through grief and adversity. In her book Mourning Has Broken, through telling the stories told to her by people from many walks of life and nationalities who have broken through rather than broken down after facing trauma or adversity, she sets out to answer the question “how can those facing the greatest hardships take this opportunity to wake up from automatic pilot and stand strong and resilient in the face of further challenge?” This talk will offer some possible answers to this question as well as addressing the nitty-gritty reality of the grieving process.


While she is in Cambridge Carmella will also be independently offering:

Good Grief - a 3 hour workshop on finding keys to healthy grieving


Dying - one chance to get it right

Lorraine Moth, community palliative care matron at Arthur Rank Hospice.
Lorraine will draw on 24 years experience working in palliative care to talk to us about the dying process and what is available to support people in this. Lorraine's short talk and her down to earth approach was one of the highlights of the festival last year. She is passionate about palliative care and believes we should adopt the principles of openness and honesty throughout our every day life. She has worked with patients at all stages of their journey from diagnosis to death. Lorraine writes: “I feel my personal strengths lie in my ability to maintain a human approach. A large part of my role is having conversations about death and dying and planning for death. I believe my work has influenced my approach to life positively, and feel privileged to work with patients and families.”

Information, conversation and/or shorter talks:


Green and alternative funerals - Tracy O’Leary is a green funeral director, founder of Woodland Wishes and a 2014 Good Funeral Awards winner. She will talk about alternative more personal approaches to planning funerals and will dispel many of the myths that surround what must happen when someone dies.

Advance Planning - Richard Lane of Thomson Webb and Corfield Solicitors and Elizabeth Fistein, director of Ethics and Law at the School of Clinical Medicine, will talk about how to prepare legally binding documents to ensure that your wishes about your treatment and care will be respected at the end of your life.

The power of touch - Kate Rudder, a complementary therapist at the hospice who is trained in the M-Technique, will be available to talk about the power of touch and to show those who are interested this simple, gentle and deeply relaxing hand massage.

Soul midwifery - Jo Franklin, palliative care nurse and Soul Midwife.

Cecilia Brassett from The Human Anatomy Teaching Group at the University of Cambridge will share her experiences and the benefits of whole body dissection for teaching our future doctors.

Jenny Wilson will be available to talk about brain donation and the work of the Cambridge Brain Bank.

Planning your own funeral ceremony: 'out of the box' thinking - Ian Morris, retired Addenbrooke's Hospital chaplain and popular speaker at our festival last year.

The sacred in dying - Alison Edwards, one of last years speakers, seeks to support a natural approach to death and dying and to restore intimacy and a sense and honouring of the sacred within this.

There will volunteers from Cambridge Cruse Bereavement Care and Lifeline available through the day if you would like someone to talk to.

And not forgetting the most important part of the day - all of you who bring your own experiences, thoughts, feelings and ideas to this event along with your interest and willingness to be a part of this taboo-breaking day - thank you! Let’s take this opportunity to talk with each other - the relaxed and lively atmosphere, connections and conversations that happened in the cafe last year were really one of the highlights of the day!

There will be the opportunity for anyone to propose a conversation topic and invite others to join them.

Details of other participants will be announced here as they are confirmed.


The day will be facilitated by Johnnie Moore who creates a relaxed informal environment offering plenty of opportunity for informal conversation where participants can share their own ideas, experiences, and feelings around these issues.


We’re pleased to be running the event this year in collaboration with the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity who are offering us the use of their spacious education area and bright and airy cafe at their beautiful new buildings next to the Babraham Road Park and Ride site. It has easy access from Cambridge by bike or bus and from elsewhere by car. If you haven’t visited yet it’s worth coming along just to see the buildings and gardens and the amazing work being done here in our local community.



The hospice are kindly offering a welcome drink and biscuit by donation. Sandwich and salad lunches and other snacks will be available to buy at the beautiful hospice cafe where you'll also have the opportunity to chat with speakers and other participants. Special diets will be catered for.

Quiet Space

There will be quiet space available for our use throughout the event.

Please note - this event is about an exchange of ideas, and is not offering grief support or counselling. As we are discussing sensitive topics, please take personal responsibility for your own wellbeing.

The day will be an integrated full day event including a mixture of short talks, longer talks, information and informal conversations.

Book a free day ticket here

Kindly sponsored by:

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