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.
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.
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.
I’ve just come across the Dock of Souls… a lovely artwork. I don’t have an afterlife belief, but I love to hear about traditions connected to death in other cultures and how art continues to reflect and respond to death and beliefs.
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.
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.
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 […]
Ageing or aging, however you spell it (and both are right) it’s the timebomb of our era.
My recent post about caring for an elderly parent is the context for my continued thinking around ageing.
There’s a cunning plan afoot to set up Death Cafe London – a permanent home for all things death, chat, support, cake. Death Cafes emerged some years ago now… first inspired by Bernard Crettaz, Jon Underwood picked the idea up in the UK and it has spread like wildfire.
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.
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.
It’s that time again. The Good Funeral Awards nomination process is underway. Nominations close 1 August 2014. Please nominate Final Fling!
To mark Dying Matters Awareness Week with its #yodo theme (You Only Die Once), Final Fling urges you to Take 5. With a simple 5 minutes you can make big inroads into starting end of life plans. You might even find you enjoy it!
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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Final Fling ran its first Death Cafe in 2013 to mark Death Awareness Week. A death cafe is a safe place to talk about life, death and loss.
Around the world, there’s a rich tapestry of traditions and practices connected with death.
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.
What happens after life? Is there an Afterlife? Heaven, hell, return to the earth, the soul’s onward journey – it’s the subject of thousands of words on the web, in scholarly papers and the popular press, in debates and bar room musings.
Day of the Dead is a huge festival that takes place across Mexico on 2 November every year. It’s not the scary, dark festival that our Hallowe’en is, but a bright, celebratory festival, remembering and honouring the dead. Dia de los Muertos, as it’s known in Mexico, takes place on All Soul’s Day, 2 November each […]