End of life educator and doula, Ruth Boydell.

People who want to explore and talk more about the sensitive and somewhat taboo topic of death and dying can now do it from the comfort of their own homes thanks to a live video webinar.

Rest Assured – a partnership initiative between Sandgate Cemetery and Newcastle Compassionate Community – will offer a free two-hour webinar on Thursday 28 May.

Presented by life educator and doula Ruth Boydell, the Music and Art Therapy – Ways to Connect webinar will discuss several topics related to music, art and death.

These include how art is being used in death education, shared experiences from practitioners in palliative and bereavement care, and exploring how people can access art and music therapy to support end of life care.

“It’s about music and art legacy [and] ways to remember,” Ms Boydell said.

“My [presentation] will look at what people have done and what people are doing now.”

Ms Boydell adds that death can be a taboo topic.

“We are happy to talk about it from a long view but when it comes up close and personal it’s a little bit harder for us to talk about,” she said.

As an end of life doula and threshold choir singer, Ms Boydell has experience with helping people transition to death.

Threshold choir singers offer the gift of their voice to people who are ill or dying.

“There are lots of ways that connect us with a person who has died,” she said.

The webinar is part of a series that is set to play a vital role in the organisation’s Care and Wellbeing Program.

“During the COVID-19 lockdown we need to be extremely mindful how social isolation can add further distress to those who are dealing with grief and loss,” Sandgate Cemetery Manager, Steve Lanske, said.

“Art and music can be wonderful ways to help us process our feelings and emotions, especially during these difficult times.

“We want to reach out and keep having healthy conversations.”

Webinar registrations can be made by phoning 4968 3602 or email info.sandgate@nmclm.com.au.

A Zoom link will be emailed prior to the event. The webinar will go from 5pm to 7pm.

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