Thank you, Reader, for dipping into our Death Box blog over the last 10 months. As you know, we’re closing the lid on the Box at the end of October – timely, wouldn’t you say, what with Halloween an’ all?
But before we do, we wanted to share with you 10 things we’ve learned during the project. Actually we’ve learned way more than 10 things, but as we’ve blogged for 10 months and we’re in the 10th month of 2016, we decided, well, to keep to 10 things.
So, we’ve learned:
- That to reflect on death is incredibly life-affirming.
- That we don’t need to reflect on our own death or of those close to us if we don’t want to – the world is full of artists who have already done that in their poems and novels and TED talks and podcasts and paintings. Once we started looking, it was hard not to savour the huge number of ways that artists across the ages have treated the subject.
- The power of 2 – twice the imagination, twice the number of skills, twice the number of hours in the day.
- That we can now talk (more or less) coherently to the press, we can blog, we can use Facebook. (However we still haven’t learned how to Tweet.)
- How to spell Confucius (as in “We have two lives, and the second begins when we realise we only have one”).
- There are amazing people and organisations trying really hard to get us to think a little bit more about death sooner rather than later. See below for some of the ones we’ve come across.
- To design a newspaper and exhibition to a really high spec.
- Thérèse takes sugar in her coffee, Lucy doesn’t.
- How to do the superhero pose before a press interview and any other major public event (thank you, Sara!).
- To “dandle” means “to move (a baby, child, etc.) lightly up and down, as on one’s knee or in one’s arms” (from Michael Donaghy’s beautiful poem ‘Annie’ featured in last week’s post).
We started this blog as a practical way to share items from our Death Box with you. But it became something more – a space in which we reflected on how the Death Box, its contents, the workshops and the creation of our exhibition were affecting us. We really hope that you found something in the blog that resonated with you.
So, one last dip into the Death Box and, on this almost All Hallows evening, we’d like to teleport you over to Mexico. There, the Day of the Dead Festival is just about to begin. It’s an annual event where families come together to remember their dead and its origins can be traced back at least 3,000 years. There’s a very beautiful 5 minute film about it on the British Museum’s website here – http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/day_of_the_dead.aspx
Until the next project…
Lucy & Therese
Support, information and advice
National Council for Palliative Care
Cruse Bereavement Care NI
Marie Curie Cancer Care
Macmillian Cancer Support
Living Well, Dying Well
Minding Your Head
Compassionate Communities, Derry
Dr Kate Granger