The Thing About Funerals Is…

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.

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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.

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Spirituality and belief

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.

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Tribute to Ian Smith

This week, we share a tribute to Ian Smith, the focus of this month’s Festival of Ian Smith at Summerhall artspace in Edinburgh. Ian co-founded Mischief La Bas.

6 years ago, Friend of Fling Barbara Millar, now an award-winning funeral celebrant, wrote a review of the work of Ian Smith at the launch of The Briggait, the stunning artspace at the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, where Mischief is still based.

Barbara kindly shares her article as a tribute to Ian Smith.

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The right to be forgotten

Listening to BBC’s Moral Maze, I’m struck by the notion of the emerging need for the right to be forgotten. For the longest time, we had few ways of marking “I was here”. An individual could come and go in life and barely leave a trace.

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Memento mori

I was in Naples recently. Wherever I go, I can’t help looking for cemeteries, memorials, memento mori… symbolic reminders of mortality, life, death. And so that’s a total Mission Possible.

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Women Do Death Differently

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 […]

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Centre for Death and Society, Bath

The Centre for Death and Society (CDAS) is part of Bath University and was set up in September 2005. CDAS carries out research on all aspects of death, dying and bereavement… how we deal with mortality and face death and loss, how society ‘does’ death and the rituals around it, how policy-makers deal with death and regulate, relationships between the living and the dead, the impact of death on our lives, poverty and death, inequalities, technology, culture.

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Dying to Live

If you’re dying to live – or even more, if you’re not dying to live – maybe because of hard times, emotional stress, confusion, illness – we think you ought to treat yourself to Dying to Live workshops that take place in Dorset in November and Cornwall in June each year. Read more about them and book now for early bird rates.

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National Tomb Sweeping Day

  April features national Tomb Sweeping Day in China. It’s a one-day holiday to pay respect to ancestors. I’m alert to this because I’m busy packing my bag for China and planning a good (respectful) rummage around to see what I can find our about their culture, traditions and relationship with death and dying. On Tomb […]

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Resources & Links

This site is jam packed full of Resources & Links: information, tips, signposting and help.

Here’s what you can do:

Browse our big fat blog with lots of information and resources
Sign up to use our FREE Life Planning Tools so you can sort your affairs (and get on with leading your life)
Check out the Marketplace to find funeral services, legal and financial services, funeral plans and more.

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Final Fling’s Death Cafe and Death Meet-ups

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

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Traditions + beliefs

Traditions and beliefs around death change with the fashion. The Victorians photographed the dead, then that practice went out of fashion. Christians used to think suicide was honourable then changed their mind. How we die depends very much on our culture and society.

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