Hatch graduate Louise Winter is the founder of Poetic Endings, an ethical funeral service in Forest Hill in London. She started this service as a result of her experience when her grandfather died, when the funeral felt rushed and uninspiring.
“Funerals have the power to honour, heal, and inspire. A final chance to come together, learn more about a person’s life, reflect on it, and say goodbye.”
More than one in five British adults say they didn’t feel supported by schools, employers, or even close friends in a time of grief, and wished those around them had been more direct when talking about death.
Nearly half (48%) of adults in the UK believe that topics on death and dying should be taught as part of the compulsory primary syllabus (Child Bereavement UK).
Conversations about grief and death
Louise is working hard to start these meaningful conversations around death. On top of providing a personalised service for bereaved people to say goodbye to their loved one, she also runs an online platform, Life Death Whatever, for people seeking support and a safe space to explore conversations surrounding death.
Louise has also written a book, “We All Know How This Ends” with her business partner, Life Doula, Anna Lyons, which serves as a comprehensive guide to grief, death and dying whilst illuminating the joys of life.
“It’s a reflection on the beauties, blessings and tragedies of life, the exquisite agony and ecstasy of being alive, and the fragility of everything we hold dear. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.”
“There’s a lot of support out there if you know where to look for it. It all depends on the kind of person you are and how you’re living with your grief.”
To those currently living with grief, Louise recommends finding people who are in the same situation to speak to.
Good Grief Trust is a resource Louise highly recommends for those seeking support as it is run by bereaved people for bereaved people, and they will offer personalised support for those in need in a way that fits their situation.
Louise has an intense job, running a business revolving around death and bereaved people. As such, it is so important for her to find a time and space to unravel.
“For me, self care is making sure that I take time for myself and do things that I find inspiring and stimulating. The biggest thing for me this year has been gardening.”
“I get so excited when the seedlings poke through the soil, or the rosebush starts to bloom, or we start to see the second flush of flowers.”
“It’s just such a lovely holistic thing for me to do to take me away from the intensity of my job and gives me something that’s more life focused.
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