In my recent post about using literature to facilitate discussions and reflection, I mentioned a wonderful book called Final Chapters: Writings about the End of Life. The writings in the book were selected from entries in a competition to which people submitted their thoughts and experiences related to death.
The same organization Dying Matters has announced a new creative writing competition. From the Web page:
Life is shockingly unpredictable and too often ends before we’ve told our nearest and dearest how much we love them, registered a will to avoid chaos after we’ve gone, visited a long-neglected relative or got in touch with someone we know we treated badly. Omissions like these gnaw at us now and are likely to be bitterly regretted when we face the final curtain.
So with that in mind, our new writing competition, While There’s Still Time, is aimed at generating shared experiences that will help more people set about putting things right, planning their future and getting the best from the rest of their life. Reading about other people’s setbacks, sadness and happiness helps us cope with our own ups and downs, and writing about experiences too painful to talk about can in itself generate a wonderful sense relief and release.
By talking more openly about end of life issues and taking actions such as writing a will, recording our funeral wishes, registering as an organ donor, planning our future care and sharing what we would want with our loved ones we can help to ensure that we all get the chance to live well until we die.
You only die once, so don’t leave it too late to make your wishes known or to provide support to those who need it.
Will you be entering this writing contest?