About us

Final Fling

Barbara Chalmers, Founder & Head of the Family
Final Fling

Final Fling: the home of life + death decisions

Final Fling is the go-to community at a critical lifestage: death.

  • Final Fling is tackling death – the last taboo.
  • Final Fling wants to ‘do death better’.
  • Final Fling wants to be to death what Mumsnet is to birth. The Trip Advisor for your onward journey.

See what the media think of Final Fling.

Final Fing is Barbara Chalmers – passionate advocate for doing death better; life coach, death coach, celebrant. See what folks have said about her pacy presentations:

  • “Best speaker of the day” Vegfest organiser
  • “Dynamic and spirited” Death Doula conference attendee
  • “Energetic and uplifting” Bath University participant
  • “Knowledgable and fun” NHS consultant
  • “You talk too fast and you sound so Scottish” (sister who lives in New York)

What Final Fling offers 

  1. Life Planning Tools to sort your affairs
  2. Marketplace to find celebrants, funeral directors and more
  3. This Big Fat Blog with tips on dealing with a death, organising a funeral and more.

Life Planning Tools 

Fling’s FREE tools are easy to use and offer a secure space to store essential info and share it with next of kin:

Hear Founder Barbara Chalmers talk with Jenni Murray and Emma Freud on Woman’s Hour and talk to Dani Maimone on Brooklands Radio at the launch of Clandon Wood Natural Burial Reserve.

See a whistle-stop tour, a one-minute guide to Final Fling with Barbara telling how she uses the site.

Final Fling’s values

Final Fling does bold, spirited, creative, pragmatic. (We don’t do mawkish, maudlin, macabre.) We’re empowering. We embrace death as a natural counterpoint to life. We promote openness: think, talk, share. We promote personalisation and choice: ‘I did it my way’. We promote taking control and having peace of mind. We aim to put‘rich’ back into ‘ritual’.

Barbara’s backstory

Hello!

I bought the domain name in 2006 after another bad funeral. “It should be about a Final Fling” I thought to myself. Four years later an email pinged into my Inbox to tell me the domain name was about to expire, asking, did I want it? I revisited the idea. What was I thinking? I didn’t want to be a funeral director. I didn’t want to be the one shouting at the caterers. What did I want? I wanted to use my communication skills to champion change, tackle the taboo, help the 97% of people who don’t shop around for a funeral to be more informed consumers; do death differently… prepare for a potentially hellish time in a creative, spirited, pragmatic way.

I did a year of research and launched Final Fling in 2012. I trained as a life coach. I trained in Rites of Passage. I’ve become a Humanist celebrant. I’ve done Care of the Body training and shadowed funeral directors. I launched Scotland’s first Death Cafe and run them quarterly. I ran a symposium for the public and third sector on Doing Death Differently with Lauren Currie. I presented a paper at Bath Uni’s Centre for Death and Society annual gig. I helped launch a natural burial ground. I’ve run a Trade School event for planners. I organised Scotland’s first Day of the Dead Festival. I’ve crossed over work with my other job, running Plan B Collective, a strategic communication consultancy: I carried out a feasibility study into the need for support around loss in schools, trained NHS palliative care consultants in media relations and advised national bodies on how to communicate about death. I made a series of films with the Institute of Research and Innovation in Social Services about How to Talk About Death.

Back in 2012 when I launched Final Fling, I chanced my arm on BBC’s Dragons Den. Boy they hated me!

Deborah Meaden "It's not going to work"

"We'll see about that" B's quiet retort to Deborah Meaden's "It'll never work"

“It’s not going to work” said Deborah. “We’ll see about that” B’s quiet retort.

What do they know. Final Fling was quickly named “Best new website” and 5 star rated by Web User Magazine up against giant brands like Nintendo and in September I picked up “Most Outstanding Contribution to Understanding Death” from the esteemed Good Funeral Guide.

The death movement has grown since 2012 and I like to think we’re a lot to do with that. I have links across the world with like-minded folks … with some who aren’t like-minded at all but have a completely different take on death – that’s good too. There’s room for all of us.

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