A SPECIAL event aiming to empower people to talk openly and honestly about death, dying and bereavement will mark the start of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2019.

A family-owned firm of undertakers are opening the doors of a nearby church to help start conversations about funeral wishes, financial matters and end of life planning.

Senior partner Alison Crake of funeral care company, Crake and Mallon, said that Dying Matters Awareness Week is an important opportunity for people to focus on a topic that is often considered taboo.

“We’d love people to come and join us for a cup of tea and a chat about something that many find difficult to talk about," she said.

“It’s an opportunity to meet in a relaxed setting and gain information that can hopefully help when you are considering what your wishes would be.

“As well as the emotional and spiritual issues that are associated with death and dying there are important practical issues to consider too. My team and I see first-hand the positive impact that sharing your wishes and having a will can have for those left behind.

“However, even if you have these things in place, any questions and concerns are best faced with the help of others and we have arranged this event to show some of the support that is available."

The meeting will be held in St John the Baptist Church in Durham Road, Stockton today and on Thursday, between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Members of the Crake and Mallon team and representatives from solicitors Archers Law, Citizen’s Advice, the Church of England, funeral celebrants and others will be on hand throughout.

Some of the organisations attending will also be taking part in a series of short presentations throughout the day, all designed to inform and advise.

Ms Crake added: "It’s also an opportunity to ask an undertaker anything you ever wondered or wanted to know about funeral arrangements.”