THE first Macabre Board Box creative coffin art workshop went off with a bang on May 10.
Creative artist and author of the Rest Easy Journal Shanna Provost guided a group of locals through the process of preparing and painting their very own cardboard coffins.
Debra Summer, Beth Dogan and Lorraine James were the organisers of the event, which was attended by 13 participants.
“I’ve been working with families around death for years now and I have found that they are usually unequipped,” civil celebrant Ms Summer said.
“I just wanted to get the conversation going, and start equipping the community.”
The event was sponsored by local funeral director John Whyman and family.
Throughout the day people shared ideas and thoughts about death and dying, expressing the importance of thinking about what is really important in life.
"I want to have all my ducks in a row and leave this world seamlessly and happily for everyone," one participant said.
Another participant shared how she was considering the idea of having a living wake, bringing her closest family and friends together to enjoy a big, fun party while they all helped her complete painting her coffin.
Another participant intended to use the decorated coffin as a bookshelf in the family home.
"The one absolute we know in life is that one day we are going to die,” Ms Summer said.
“If we can face our death openly we can more fully face our lives.
“Talking about death will not make it happen and not talking about it will certainly not stop it from happening.
“At the Demystifying Death and Dying life event we are hoping to empower our community by providing practical information to help make better decisions and more considered choices in relation to end of life matters."
She said that the day had been very successful, and she thinks there will be more events such as it in the future.
Ms Provost was pleased with how the event had gone.
"I felt it to be a great honour to be able to facilitate this workshop,” she said.
“There was much laughter, tenderness and a sense of fun, support and self-responsibility in the hall.
“Each person approached the subject in a down to earth and mature way."
The participants will continue to work on their coffins over the coming weeks, before exhibiting them at the Demystifying Death and Dying life event being held at the Cobargo School of Arts Hall as part of the Cobargo Eat Think Create experience on June 7-9.
The event will be run under the banner of the Bermagui and District U3A.