This week, my friend Rebecca shares a surprising, delighting moment at a recent family funeral – to come across an Order of Service recipe. “Pat Mills, died at the end of last year and in my family, that officially marks the End of an Era. Pat and Bunty were legends. They were distant cousins of ours – […]
Are you aware of the new Funeral Expense Assistance benefit being introduced in Scotland? It’s part of new Social Security changes. Shortened to FEA benefit, this was put before the Scottish Parliament on 18 February 2019 and it’s due to launch in summer 2019, replacing the current Funeral Expenses Payment. Here’s what Scottish Government tell us about the new benefit. “Arranging […]
So… have you been caught up in the new-year-new-me frenzy created Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Magic of Tidying. If so, maybe, like me, you’ve found yourself folding t-shirts into small little stand-up packages and enjoying every minute of your new-found control, discipline and mindfulness.
What’s the connection between Day of the Dead, Hallowe’en and death?
Day of the Dead is a Mexican festival to remember and celebrate our loved and lost. Making offerings at shrines, grave tending, sharing food and storytelling are all part of the ritual, designed to help heal and remember. Hallowe’en is
So this week I’ve been contacted by a TV production company who are researching whether there’s programme potential in the subject of match-making for a terminal partner.
I’m writing a funeral today and thinking about suicide, the funeral eulogy and breaking the silence.
Designing compassion into services for death and dying has been at the heart of Final Fling’s work since our online community launched in 2012.
6 years on, Founder Barbara Chalmers presented a slot on designing compassion into services for death at the Everyday Compassion conference organised by Good Life Good Death Good Grief to bring together death workers from all over Scotland and beyond.
How on earth does anyone survive the loss of a child?
The feature film A Love That Never Dies, on release at selected independent cinemas this month, shares how some parents have coped.
I’m wondering today when we might get to a point of providing clearer and louder support for dying, not just bereavement.
Here’s an update on childhood bereavement support in Scotland.
5 out of every 100 children in the UK lose a parent by the time they reach 16. That’s around 4,600 children in Scotland who will experience a parent’s death every year.
An awareness-raising week is nothing without a good hashtag – so get ready for #GoodDeathWeek #WhatCanYouDo next week: 14-20 May.
For the last week, I’ve been reflecting on a question Professor Allan Kellehear raised about how long grief lasts. He posed this question during his keynote speech on Creating Compassionate Cities at the Everyday Compassion conference in Glasgow. He answered his own question. “Grief doesn’t last 6 weeks or 6 years. It lasts forever.”
Three things yesterday – a conversation, an interaction and a presentation – yesterday made me wonder why we don’t talk more about death workers.
At the Everyday Compassion conference in Glasgow yesterday, Kerrie Noonan from Australia’s Groundswell Project sought me out to tell me she’s a fan of Fling. We chatted about what we both do… rogue death champions, working outside the system (mostly).
Kerrie said she prefers to use the term death workers for the likes of us and all the people she encounters in various end-of-life roles.
This week I’m talking at an end of life conference about designing compassion into services. The conference is Everyday Compassion: Supportive responses to dying and bereavement by schools, neighbourhoods and workplaces.
I was thrilled to meet Kathryn Mannix in Glasgow at Aye Write book festival where she was talking in her gentle, wise voice about living with the end in mind. The audience hung on her every word as she shared the years of knowledge and experience she has built up as a palliative care specialist, […]
Friend of Final Fling, artist Gina Czarnecki, is chuffed that her plan to commission 25 coffins to inspire thinking about death has been funded, thanks to Arts Council England & Lottery Ticket-buyers.
Thanks to Flinger, Michelle, for sharing this inspiration for writing your own words for a funeral. This time last week, I had the privilege of leading a funeral for Michelle and family to celebrate the life of her dad, Alex. It was a sad day for the family, marking the loss of their generous, spirited, loving, much-loved dad, grandpa, great grandpa, brother, uncle.
Now that the world has truly gone digital, a key part of end of life planning is to be in control of your digital assets and digital liabilities.
I had a chat today with a Final Flinger about how to pay for funeral for a friend. He’s dying. She’s supporting. Both are worrying about how to pay for the funeral. And that’s the last thing they should be worrying about right now when they have just a little time left together.
What is the problem with death?
There’s a quotation, often wrongly attributed to Einstein and often misquoted, which goes roughly: “if I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spent 55 minutes framing the problem and 5 minutes solving it”. So, I’m wondering, what is the problem with death?