A part of life
Care Beyond Cure is an Ulverstone charity that supports people with a terminal illness and their carers.
They offer workshops, therapies, pre and post death education and peer support programs.
During a time that’s controlled by doctors’ appointments, Care Beyond Cure helps empower people. They can express themselves. Try something new. And learn about their options for when the time comes.
The programs Care Beyond Cure offer have been found to boost social and emotional wellbeing, and relieve physical pain and stress.
“It’s about everybody supporting each other,” Care Beyond Cure volunteer and secretary Lynne said.
“It’s not about the disease. It’s about the person.”
One of the programs on offer is the Community Coffin Club. People can build a coffin for themselves or for a loved one with a diagnosis.
It sounds sad and confronting at first. But for those who’ve built their own coffins, it’s been nothing but therapeutic. They even share coffin and funeral jokes around the lunch table!
People can choose to make eco-friendly coffins too with materials bought through our Community Act of Royalty.
Gina was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago. As an ex-economist she has always been realistic about death.
“It’s okay. I’m 73. I can die,” Gina said.
“My productivity is virtually gone!”
Gina had a lot of fun building her own coffin. And she’s got a lot out of being a part of Care Beyond Cure.
“Sometimes when you’re not well you don’t want to go out.
“But it forces you to get up, go out and have a bit of company.
“You’ve got to do your best to do something for yourself.”
Joan, on the other hand, built a coffin for her husband who has dementia and is in permanent care.
“There’s so much more to the Community Coffin Club,” Joan said.
“It’s the therapy that’s involved in doing it.
“Instead of being all alone with this knowledge of what’s happening, you’ve got people who understand.
“Suddenly, you’re a part of a community again."
Both Gina and Joan think we need to talk more about death. They think people should know their rights so they can do what’s best for them and their families emotionally and financially.
Care Beyond Cure wants the wider community to learn more about the process of death as well. They’re raising awareness and funds with a calendar, which is available to buy now. Look out for Gina and Joan, who are both make an appearance.
Money raised through the calendar will go towards establishing Tasmania’s first not-for-profit, family-led funeral home, Tender Funerals Tasmania – an arm of Tender Funerals Illawarra in Sydney.
The biggest takeaway from Care Beyond Cure is that death is a part of life. It’s a topic that’s so often swept under the rug, but there are groups out there that’ll support you and welcome you with open arms.