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.”
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.
In case you hadn’t noticed, design innovation and funerals has been obsessing me for the past decade. So I’ve spent the past year really digging into this by studying for a Masters in Design Innovation (Service Design), with a focus on funerals, at the prestigious Glasgow School of Art.
This week, I’m reaching out for Death Cafe feedback from anyone who’s attended a Final Fling Death Cafe.
This Thursday, 9 November, I’m hosting an Absent Friends Supper at Kinning Park Complex. It’s free to attend and starts at 6pm.
To Absent Friends is an annual Scotland-wide festival promoted by our friends at Good Life Good Death Good Grief.
The big news today is that Barbara Chalmers, Founder of Final Fling now has a Masters – with distinction – in funerals.
“Well, in reality, it’s an MDes – a Masters in Design Innovation, Service Design – and my final project was on funerals, so I consider it a Masters in funerals,” said Barbara. “I just found out on Friday at our degree show that I achieved a Masters – with distinction – in funerals (as I call it) and I couldn’t be more delighted.”
I’ve just had a message from Karin, a new Flinger in Australia, who – having just signed up over the weekend – wanted to check: does Final Fling work internationally?
I thought I’d share my answer more broadly. Yes it does!
We’ve updated our Fling-O-Bingo end of life planning tool after last week’s Dying Matters Awareness Week event, Byw Nawr (Live Now) in Cardiff.
What has bingo got to do with end of life planning, you may well ask! Well, always looking for accessible ways to open up conversations about life and death decisions, we use bingo cards as a way of playing a game to identify the Top 20 Essential Documents Next of Kin will need.
Perfectly timed to keep up the momentum of Dying Matters Awareness Week, is next week’s A Time To Live: a documentary about dying. It airs on BBC2 on Wednesday at 9pm. “I met with documentary maker, Sue Bourne in March last year,” says Barbara Chalmers of Final Fling. “On the back of making the very successful film The Age Of Loneliness, the BBC asked Sue what she wanted to do next. She wondered what it would be like to live in the light of a terminal diagnosis and was looking for help to reach out for participants. I was glad to help and reach out to members of the Final Fling community – people who are engaged with the process of living and dying.
Thanks to Chantal from Castleacre Insurance for sharing insights into the role of an Executor this week. This could also be entitled: Executor Forced by the Court to Reimburse an Estate to the tune of £300,000. A little more arresting. Here’s what Chantal tells us: Many people who take on the role of executor for a […]
This week, we look at the challenge of facing death and letting go, thanks to Evelyn Temple who shares her thoughtful, poignant story of her dad’s end of life wish – Just Let Me Go. Evelyn shares: February 25 2017 marked ten years since my Dad died. My Dad – strong, humble, constant, hardworking. He was my rock […]
We’re delighted to have Usha Grieve from Compassion in Dying blog for us this week, launching their new campaign, Make It You Decision:
Just over a month into the New Year, countless resolutions will already have been made – and broken. Many will have set out their goals for 2017 and beyond: to take control of their health, improve their fitness, learn a new skill, or pursue their dream job. We all have a vision for the future and how we’d like our lives to play out.
Final Fling’s Founder, Barbara Chalmers, is exploring Spirituality and Belief as part of a Masters in Design Innovation at the esteemed Glasgow School of Art:
I imagine that spirituality and belief comes into sharp focus for many of us when we are facing mortality… in our daily reflections, at times of heightened awareness, when we’re coping with death, dying and loss. Spirituality might feel like a need or gap. It might feel like a support or crutch. Belief might help make sense at a confusing or troubling time.
Happy New Year from Final Fling – the positive thinking, forward planning, reality checking life support system. Since Final Fling began its life in 2012 as a life support system for people faced with making tricky life and death decisions or those thinking ahead, the world has changed.
I had the bittersweet experience of a funeral for a friend this week. A fine celebration of a life lived well and welcome words expressing not her bravery fighting her cancer but her anger at having to leave before she wanted and her frustration at not having completed her mission to make the world a better place (though for sure, she made a big dent in that one).
The limited edition guide Too Busy to Die launches on 14 October 2016 at Cheltenham Literature Festival, when Barbara Chalmers, Founder of Final Fling, talks about end of life planning.
This week, Sue Friston, Final Flinger, shares her experience of using Final Fling, one year on.
I thought it would be useful to share with others to make 3 key points:
– you don’t have to do everything at once
– one action is better than none
– keep it up… one step leads to another.