Scottish Funeral Awards 2019

It was a privilege this weekend to be invited up on the stage at the Scottish Funeral Awards 2019 to hand out shiny trophies to honour great work going on across Scotland. 22 different categories celebrated the work of funeral directors north, south, east and west along with all the essentials that we associate with […]

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Judgement day for funeral industry

On Friday 2 August, it was judgement day for Scotland’s funeral industry – literally. A team of judges were locked in a city centre hotel room throughout the long, hot, sunshine-filled day, pouring over piles of anonymised paperwork to debate views and arrive at decisions for the new Scottish Funeral Awards 2019. It was heads […]

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Death on the Fringe at Edinburgh

Our chums at Good Life Good Death Good Grief have another year’s death inspired programme coming up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Top of the pile for me, on 5 August is doctor/writer Kathryn Mannix, sharing her wisdom with readings from her book With The End in Mind. If you ever wanted comfort that you […]

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Assisted dying – come on Scotland

This week, Perthshire school teacher Richard Selley called on the Scottish Parliament to move towards legalising assisted dying. Richard is living with Motor Neurone Disease or MND. There’s no way back for him. Like others in his shoes, he’s making plans to travel to Dignitas in Switzerland to take what little control he can and […]

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Good Grief Project update

Our lovely friends Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris are going from strength to strength with their inspiring Good Grief project. Jimmy and Jane have produced a film A Love That Never Dies to help share experiences of what it is to lose a child. At their recent screening of the film in Preston, they had […]

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Order of Service recipe

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 – […]

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Funeral Expense Assistance benefit in Scotland

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 […]

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The Magic of Tidying

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.

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Day of the Dead, Hallowe’en and death

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

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Designing compassion into services for death and dying

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.

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How long grief lasts

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.”

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