Every year, people use Dying Matters Awareness Week as a moment to encourage their communities to get talking in whatever way, shape or form works for them, about Death and Dying.

This year local residents and death doulas Sarah Parker and Anne Overzee, of Dying with Grace, have curated a programme of events for Totnes.

Totnes hosts a rich programme on Saturday May 11 at Birdwood House in the centre of town.

In the morning there will be talks including “stages of dying” from a soul midwife, “different approaches to funerals” from an independent funeral director and celebrant, and an opportunity to hear about the local woodland burial ground in Rattery.

There will also be a selection of workshops including creative writing about grief, mandala painting, choices at the end of life, and an afternoon of sound healing and spoken word. The day will end with an inclusive ritual where they together remember their loved ones who are no longer with them.

For full details visit the website at www.dyingwithgrace.co.uk/events

Over the road at Bogan House, Agata Krajewska of Theatre of Awakening will offer an experiential “Death as Ally” workshop on the afternoon of Saturday May 11 (booking is essential for this workshop – see www.dyingwithgrace.co.uk/events), followed by Playback Theatre’s ‘Red Earth’ performance from 7pm.

Playback Theatre engages the audience in a creative conversation on a theme, in this case death and dying.

A conductor will talk to the audience and ask for a response. The actors and musician will then 'playback' whatever has been shared in a way that reflects the ' tellers' experienceOn Sunday afternoon, May 12, in Totnes, Dying Matters Week concludes with a large Death Café, for Everyone, to come to and share their thoughts and feelings about death and dying at The Hairy Barista.

The afternoon will include poetry and will end with The Threshold Choir singing some gentle songs and lullabies that they offer at the bedside to people in their dying moments.

The Totnes Dying Matters Awareness Week programme is offered to local people for free or by donation.