Coffin club community delivers quality endings

It’s one of the longest running Coffin Clubs in Australia and it’s one of the most vibrant. Not the kind of word one tends to find associated with an end of life group, but it’s an accurate description for this hands on practical method of dealing with the inevitable.

Some coffins made at Ulverstone’s Community Coffin Club have been by friends and supporters. This one is Care Beyond Cure secretary Lynne Jarvis’s own woven model.(ABC Northern Tasmania: Rick Eaves)

This is the story about Community Coffin Club members at Ulverstone, northern Tasmania, who have come together to celebrate five years of a club and a concept that has inspired many others facing their mortality around Australia and the world.

In: At the Community Coffin Club at Ulverstone, living and dying well are part of life, Rick Eaves (ABC Northern Tasmania, Wed 11 Aug 2021) tells how “At this coffin club, laughter, music, food, cute dogs and shared experience lay the foundations on which to build a serious understanding of “death literacy”.

It’s all about knowing what happens when you die, what happens before and after you take your last breath, and what it all means for family and friends.

Organiser Lynne Jarvis says it’s all about educating, supporting and empowering people. 

“The idea is that individuals can make their own coffin and family and friends can help with that. In itself it is a beautiful, empowering process,” she said.

“But we also have our art and death literacy space where anyone can come — they can bring their knitting and just say ‘hi’.”

Lynne is also secretary of Care Beyond Cure, a group that organises therapy and respite days for chronically and terminally ill people and their carers.

She said the group aimed to ease the financial and emotional burdens of those facing the challenges of severe illness or life’s final chapter.

Care Beyond Cure is also in the process of establishing Tender Funerals Tasmania, the first not-for-profit, community-owned and led funeral home for the state.

Good news stories are worth passing around the traps, and this is one them. Read all of Ricks news post here: Community Coffin Club for living and dying well as part of life.

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