I live my life as a Humanist and get my spiritual highs from nature, loving relationships and the joy of being human, with all our frailties. I don’t feel any loss as a result of not having a religious practice. That is, until recently, when I came across something for the first time that I […]
Death and dying
Suicide, the funeral eulogy and breaking the silence
I’m writing a funeral today and thinking about suicide, the funeral eulogy and breaking the silence.
Living with the end in mind
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, […]
Death Cafe feedback
This week, I’m reaching out for Death Cafe feedback from anyone who’s attended a Final Fling Death Cafe.
Masters in funerals
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.”
A Time to Live – documentary about dying
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.
The big full stop – my view of afterlife
Have you ever noticed Final Fling’s logo has a full stop in it? The big full stop – my view of afterlife. You see I believe we die and we’re done, gone. I was with my dad when he died. His ‘passing’ was electric: it felt like 5,000 volts leapt from him to me and […]
Death and letting go
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 […]
Compassion in Dying – make it your decision
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.
Funeral for a friend
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).
What it’s like to care for an elderly parent
This week, Final Flinger, Sue Friston shares her experience of what it’s like to care for an elderly parent. Sue shares honestly and openly: Mum’s need for supervision and assistance in dressing and washing has noticeably increased in the past few weeks. Slower. More frail. I notice how easy it is to wish this over.
Palliative care helps people live
This week, Professor Scott Murray talks about his belief that early palliative care helps people live with – not die from – a serious illness. A recent medical scare of his own means Scott has been able to bring a very different, personal lens to his thinking about his professional area of expertise.
End of life care for LGBT people
Marie Curie recently published an excellent report on end of life care for LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). Three cheers. It’s so welcome to find that our care matters too to major influencers like Marie Curie.
Living to Die
Are you dying to live or living to die? And does your view change if you are told you only have months to live? This week’s blog comes from Sue Bourne, award-winning documentary maker, who wants to connect with YOU, if you have had a terminal diagnosis and want to share your experience.
Friend of Fling, Barry Ward, this week shares news of Remembering Christine – the book he has written in tribute to his wife Christine who died last year.
Assisted Dying – could you back it?
20 years of debate on, the British Medical Association is discussing the results of an 18 month long survey into doctors’ views of Assisted Dying. And to help shine a light on the topic, BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze broadcast an debate on Assisted Dying this month.
Care after death at home
This week, Kate Clark from Pushing Up the Daisies, shares her experience and tips for care after death at home. Kate has experience of caring for family members at home after death and also brings her expertise as a nurse. She reminds us: “caring for someone at home after death isn’t anything new, rather it’s a […]
This week, Sara Sheehan, producer, talks with us about her new film documentary “Mortal”. There are free online screenings of the film from today until 25 April. We love the look of it.
Sara tells us:
“We began filming our documentary “Mortal” when it was apparent that my father was failing. My mother was faced with an overwhelming amount of decisions to make and they all felt as if they were of life and death importance.”
Experiences of dying
This week, we’re shining a light on experiences of death, as witnessed by Kathleen Dowling Singh, a PhD who has walked beside hundreds of people in their dying stages. Kathleen shares her experiences of death – other people’s – in her book: The Grace in Dying. She concludes that however differently we have lived our lives, our experiences of death are remarkably similar whatever our culture or faith, wherever we live, when we have time and space to die.
How Alzheimer’s became a gift
This week’s blogger, Maggie, shares her experience of her mum’s Alzheimer’s.
“I’m at peace. I have no worries or fear. Death is nothing to be afraid of.”