'Life and Death Matters' expo in Bellingen

The 'Life and Death Matters' expo held by Miindala at Bellingen Showground on Saturday April 13 had people streaming through the door to find out how to do death and dying in a way that's empowering, respectful, legal and affordable.

Even a horse clip-clopped into the pavilion: a miniature pony called Possum, whose warm, quiet presence is therapeutic for those suffering grief and loss.

Owner Michelle Wass said Possum and her other equine therapy pony Mr T held space for people to connect with their feelings.

"Horses are emotional. They help you be present to your own self," she said.

"Today has been awesome," expo organiser Guus Brunnekreef said. "From 8.30am there's been a steady stream of people."

Guus mentioned that it wasn't only members of the public who'd been exposed to new information at the expo.

"Micklo Jarrett told us we've been pronouncing our name wrong for years - it should be MIIN-dala, not min-DA-la."

The expo included the launch of the revised Do-It-Yourself Funeral Book and the new Cuddle Cot, a baby-sized cool bed that allows infants of up to eight months to be kept at home for up to five days so families can say an unhurried goodbye.

Tables dotted around the main pavilion shared many opportunities to help prepare for the end of life, including signing up for a biographical workshop on writing life stories; borrowing books from Miindala's extensive library; checking out environmentally-friendly wicker caskets from Bellingen's Barefoot Funerals and writing a message to a loved one who has passed away and fastening it to the memory tree.

The Memorable Moments workshop to learn how to support a friend or family member to share their life story will be held Saturday June 15, 1pm-4.30pm at Bellingen Youth Hub.

To contact Miindala, phone 0448 084 792 or email Miindala2013@gmail.com