Handing over the Final Fling baton

I’m delighted to have teamed up with a couple of friends in the field to offer Final Flingers a secure alternative for their onward journey. As users know, I will be closing Final Fling at the end of May. Time for change. No drama. Final Fling alternatives Once I’ve Gone and Biscuit Tin are two […]

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Final Fling – a user’s tale

Thanks to Fling user, Pauline Tait, for taking time to write a personal tribute to Final Fling for the job it has done to help people engage with end of life planning. Take it away, Pauline. Thanks Final Fling “I would like to thank Barbara for creating Final Fling, for opening up rational discussions about […]

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Finale Fling

I hit another big milestone in March. If the world was normal, I would have my bus pass by now and be taking me and my white hair on jaunts. As it happens, they’re not issuing bus passes and there’s nowhere to go. I think about all the other people missing out on small and […]

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And finally… a few kind words

I’m all about meaningful rites of passage. Small or large rituals to mark changes in life. As part of my own rite of passage to mark the process of winding down Final Fling, I want to share some of the lovely tributes I’ve been enjoying this month since I let users know that for me, […]

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Death looms large – the Covid effect

I decided in the Covid-19 lock-down period not to get involved in scaremongering or engage in drama about death. My partner’s mum died from a cold in December. This wasn’t reported anywhere. It didn’t add to a daily count; it wasn’t publicised in headlines reporting on the number of old folks who slip away every […]

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Digital legacies rule

OK, I love an actual artefact – the touchy-feely real things in life, but there’s a lot to be said for the power of digital – especially when it comes to digital legacies. You just have to take a look at this old photo to see how much an artefact can diminish over time. This […]

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Join the coffin club

I ordered my own coffin in 2012. I hadn’t realised I was joining a global revolution. It turns out, on the other side of the globe, in 2011, a group of active retirees in New Zealand began to happily meet up at the Coffin Club. They make friends, have a laugh and handcraft their own […]

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Last rites and plain talking

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 […]

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A fond farewell

We had a family Final Fling this month – a fond farewell. A good goodbye. It really was a wonderful celebration of a life well-lived. After all the years I’ve been encouraging others to plan ahead, it really was a joy to be delivering a funeral that had been thought-through and owned – by the […]

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Memory quilt

Friend of Fling, Ailsa, shared a lovely idea for remembering and we think it could help in the space of loss and remembering without burdening. Let’s say, we think it has legs… It can be a challenge sorting through the remains of a life. What to keep; what to let go. It can feel painful not to keep everything… as if […]

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Funeral parlours licensed like tattoo parlours

Scottish Government is introducing a statutory Code of Practice, an inspection programme and a licensing scheme for funeral businesses as part of a regulatory framework to ensure high standards of service. They’ll be working on implementation over 2019/20. In their consultation and investigation they drew an interesting parallel comparing the funeral parlour business model and […]

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Scottish Funeral Awards 2019

It was a privilege this weekend to be invited up on the stage at the Scottish Funeral Awards 2019 to hand out shiny trophies to honour great work going on across Scotland. 22 different categories celebrated the work of funeral directors north, south, east and west along with all the essentials that we associate with […]

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Judgement day for funeral industry

On Friday 2 August, it was judgement day for Scotland’s funeral industry – literally. A team of judges were locked in a city centre hotel room throughout the long, hot, sunshine-filled day, pouring over piles of anonymised paperwork to debate views and arrive at decisions for the new Scottish Funeral Awards 2019. It was heads […]

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Death on the Fringe at Edinburgh

Our chums at Good Life Good Death Good Grief have another year’s death inspired programme coming up at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Top of the pile for me, on 5 August is doctor/writer Kathryn Mannix, sharing her wisdom with readings from her book With The End in Mind. If you ever wanted comfort that you […]

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