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Demystifying death

An eclectic line-up of events and activities took place at Sutton House in Hackney East London throughout October, encouraging people to reflect on life, death and the journey between the two. Mary Carmichael investigates …

“When you’re offered an opportunity to take over a National Trust property to focus on a topic so unfashionable and difficult to talk about, it’s too huge an opportunity not to do it properly,” 

So says Anna Lyons, one half of the curating team for Life. Death. Whatever – an innovative approach to death that aims to demystify the subject and make it ‘normal’.

We both do what we do because we feel strongly that people should be treated properly at end of life

Anna is an end-of-life doula, as well as writer, teacher and fine art lecturer, while her curating partner is Louise Winter, former fashion editor, founder of funeral service Poetic Endings and editor of The Good Funeral Guide.

Initially, Louise was asked by the National Trust to run death cafés at Sutton House, but both she and Anna felt it was too impressive a platform to restrict the event. 

“We both do what we do because we feel strongly that people should be treated properly at end of life,” explains Anna, “And we wanted to reach as many people as possible.”

This is a preview of a feature article.

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