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.”
The Thing About Funerals Is… is a two-part exploration of funerals coming up on 24 June and on 7-8 July at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. Brought to you by Final Fling, they will both give breathing space for the public to engage in conversations, reflection and provocations about how we say our goodbyes.
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.
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’ve literally just arrived home from applauding the Good Funeral Awards winners at the annual awards ceremony in London. A mighty fine day and lovely to see so many friends. Well done Fran Hall!
Are you interested in a Life MOT? Barbara Chalmers, Founder of Final Fling offers personalised Life MOT packages. A qualified life coach, executive coach, and COSCA Counselling Skills qualified, Barbara is trained in MAP and PATH techniques and is also considered a death coach.
I had a call from someone new to Final Fling today who was looking for help to plan for the end. Let’s call her Laura. And I had a message from ‘Moya’, who was looking for exactly the same help. Both were prompted to plan by activities during Dying Matters Awareness Week. Hurrah! Moya had […]
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.”
Been to a Death Cafe yet? They’re happening all over the UK – indeed all over the world – in different shapes and forms. This week, Friend of Final Fling, Chris Dudzinska, shares how her death cafe type event in York went recently.
Check out the Conversation Project in the US and next time you’re prepping dinner, dicing carrots or enjoying a bite and a glass with friends, use Final Fling as the perfect excuse for starting conversations about life and death.
At the end of 2015, Scottish Government commissioned Citizens Advice Scotland to produce a report about the cost of funerals in Scotland. Final Fling met with authors John Birrell and Fraser Sutherland in December to talk ‘funeral poverty’ and feed into the report.
To kick off 2016, Jane Duncan Rogers ran a Planning a good death workshop, incorporating her own book, her Good Death Checklist and Final Fling’s planning tools, giving workshoppers the chance to chat, share, think, talk, plan and record. Here, Jane shares a bit about the session and the feedback. Our sell-out Planning a Good Death […]
10 years ago, it occurred to me that maybe women do death differently. That’s when I bought the domain name, Final Fling, in the hope that I could contribute in some way. We’re more about emotional engagement than transaction. We’re collaborative, supportive, we cut to the chase and focus on the important things. We’re good at […]
Breast cancer and chemo. There’s something you don’t want to be thinking about. Ever. But Flinger, Cally Nurse had to recently. We thought it might help others to hear Cally’s experience, told in her words: “Chemo is not for me I’m afraid,” I said to Mr Harris…
Final Fling’s Death Cafe and Death Meet-ups provide a warm, friendly, safe space to explore thoughts and experiences of life and death.
We ran the first Death Cafe in Scotland in 2013 to mark Dying Matters Awareness Week and ran them for several years each quarter.
We’ve broadened the events out and call them Death Meet-ups