Three things yesterday – a conversation, an interaction and a presentation – yesterday made me wonder why we don’t talk more about death workers.
At the Everyday Compassion conference in Glasgow yesterday, Kerrie Noonan from Australia’s Groundswell Project sought me out to tell me she’s a fan of Fling. We chatted about what we both do… rogue death champions, working outside the system (mostly).
Kerrie said she prefers to use the term death workers for the likes of us and all the people she encounters in various end-of-life roles.
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.
I had a chat today with a Final Flinger about how to pay for funeral for a friend. He’s dying. She’s supporting. Both are worrying about how to pay for the funeral. And that’s the last thing they should be worrying about right now when they have just a little time left together.
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 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.”
Dying Matters and Hospice UK merge on 1 July. The two key end of life care charities join forces, pooling resources and expertise to provide “good end of life care for everyone”.
So sad to hear of the death of Jon Underwood who started the ball rolling for Death Cafe movement in the UK.
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.
It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week! The theme in this 8th year is What Can You Do? See what’s on across the country. Final Fling’s Barbara Chalmers will be running Too Busy to Die workshops in Cardiff on Thursday as part of the sold out Byw Nawr Event, What Can You Do? What Can We Do Together? Not sure […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
I was out on a romp of a local graveyard on a visit ‘home’ over the new year, loving life and in awe as ever at the way life and death turn around over and over like a clock, a pendulum, a pulse, the rhythm of life. Three things struck me. ONE: LIFE WILL OUT […]
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.
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.