Talking Together about Death

Joan Cooley and Frankie McGauran.

Winslow Press
Telford Road

£44.95 plus VAT

Bereavement and death are issues which have not, in the past,
been well handled when it comes to people with learning
difficulties. Fortunately, it is now recognised that excluding
people with learning difficulties from the process of death and the
rituals surrounding it does not help them to grieve in a healthy
way. There is little doubt, however, that talking to people with
learning difficulties about the concept of death and such a strong
emotion as grief is difficult, particularly if they have limited
communication skills.

This pack provides a much needed resource for people with
learning difficulties, their families and carers. It offers five
sets of beautifully illustrated cards and a booklet which gives
guidance on using the cards, and further information about working
with grief. The cards can be copied so that they can be enlarged so
that the bereaved person can keep an image which has particular
significance for them.

I was impressed by the multicultural nature of the pack. The
cards provide images of people from many races and religious groups
and the booklet prompts the reader to consider different beliefs
and rituals around death. There are over 100 cards in the pack that
they can be selected to suit the particular circumstances of an
individual. They are grouped thematically and although suggestions
are made as to how they might he used there is the freedom to use
the resource in an infinite variety of ways. This is a simple idea,
well produced, and I’m sure it will be welcomed as a useful

Sue Fenton is an independent counsellor and

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