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New film awakens thoughts on end-of-life planning

A SHORT film produced on the Eastern Shore is hoping to tackle the stigma surrounding death and dying by empowering communities to engage in meaningful conversation.

Launched at the Rosny Barn on 8 December 2015, “aWake Before Death” features local residents and their insights on grief, fear, choices about dying and wishes for funeral and wake arrangements.

It forms part of a suite of flexible resources to promote awareness of death and dying and to encourage other communities to discuss end-of-life planning.

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said the film could be an important resource for education and training.

“Death and dying are difficult subjects to talk about, however, we must all confront it at some stage of our lives,” he said.

“It is important that we have these discussions with the people we love and also more broadly in the community.

“I think aWake Before Death does this in a very sensitive way.

“This is a remarkable film and I really thank all community members who participated in the filming, as well as those who put [the] film together.”

aWake Before Death was made possible through a grant delivered under the Better Access to Care Program (through the Tasmanian Association of Hospice and Palliative Care) and Clarence City Council.

Leanne Doherty, manager of the Warrane Mornington Neighbourhood Centre Inc, said the centre was proud to auspice the grant for the project as it addressed “a need expressed by those in our community.”

“A gentleman responded to our flyer on the project during the planning stage,” she said.

“He said that he ‘was glad to see this topic being talking about in the community’ as he had difficulty in talking to his daughter regarding his wishes.”

The film was shown as part of the five-day Mofo festival held earlier this month.