Derry Presbyterian Minister David Latimer has penned a booklet which offers advice and guidance to people dealing with the death of a loved one.
The Bereavement Booklet - which was launched yesterday at an event attended by Mayor of Derry Kevin Campbell - is available free of charge to everyone living with bereavement.
Dr. Latimer, Minister of First Derry Presbyterian Church, explained the reasons behind his decision to write the booklet.
“While death has always been an unwelcome intrusion into people’s lives, ancient civilisations were much more successful at integrating it into their understanding of life,” he said.
“Four thousand years ago, the passage from life into death was more or less perceived to be a stage in the continuation of life.
“Similarly, during the Middle Ages, death was accepted as an inevitable fate passed from age to age like a proverb.
“During the fifteenth century, the collection of people’s experiences in the throes of death, which included pictures of death and dying for the illiterate, meant that nearly everybody had an opportunity to become familiar with the act of dying and could make preperation for it.
“However, revolutionary changes in attitudes towards death and dying during the twentieth century have literally transformed traditional ideas and feelings that remained extant for millennia, insomuch death has become an event that is forbidden, unaccepted and unnamed.
“Accepting the current widespread tendency to postpone talking and, possibly, even thinking about the always-with-us-never-to-leave-us reality of death compelled the production of a booklet designed to offer advice, guidance, help and hope for when a loved one dies.”
Dr. Latimer says the Bereavement Booklet is divided into two parts - the first is devoted to practical advice and guidance, which is tantamount to being an aide memoire for the entire mourning process, while the second part concentrates on offering a reliable source of spiritual help and hope for all who find themselves overwhelmed by grief.
Copies of the booklet are available from Adair & Neely Funeral Undertakers and First Derry Presbyterian Church - joint funders of the booklet.