Creative Arts Festival explores living fully and dying well

VIDEO: Creative Arts Festival explores living fully and dying well

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A Creative Arts Festival is exploring what it means to live fully and die well and it's called 'What Matters Most.'

The festival took place at the Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park on Saturday.

The family-friendly event is about encouraging people to live the best life they can and that means planning ahead for death. It might not be something people think about ahead of time, but if you plan ahead it can help you and your family.

Jan O'loughlin is involved in senior programs around the area and came out to the event.

"I don't think none of us really have the answers to what happens as you age and I think it's important to know there's a lot of resources in Charleston,"O'loughlin said.

The festival uses the arts as a way to approach death and difficult topics. There were musical performances, storytelling, poetry and crafts to engage people and get them to reflect on what matters most to them.

There were also several vendors with resources ranging from hospice care needs to home care assistance to elder care attorneys.

The event is hosted by Bridges For-End of-Life a non-profit that helps families navigate issues encountered before, during, and after death.

Jonathan Wright is the Executive Director of the non-profit. He says thinking about end of life for ourselves or for our loved ones is a difficult topic that some people avoid or neglect.

"Dying well is really about being empowered to make informed choices and knowing what your options are planning ahead so you can be proactive and maybe avoid some of the crisis that happens when someone's health declines suddenly," Wright said.

Wright suggests that you start having informal conversations about your wishes that could range from specific preferences that could include what will go in your will or if you want to be on life support.

The conversation can also cover general things like your values and wisdom.

"What are your stories what's your legacy, what do you want to share with your kids and grandkids to make sure they remember you by, so it's that positive side too," Wright said.

The event was also in partnership with the Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts.

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