How long grief lasts

For the last week, I’ve been reflecting on a question Professor Allan Kellehear raised about how long grief lasts. He posed this question during his keynote speech on Creating Compassionate Cities at the Everyday Compassion conference in Glasgow. He answered his own question. “Grief doesn’t last 6 weeks or 6 years. It lasts forever.”

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Stand up and be counted, death workers

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.

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Living with the end in mind

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, […]

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Writing your own words for a funeral

Thanks to Flinger, Michelle, for sharing this inspiration for writing your own words for a funeral. This time last week, I had the privilege of leading a funeral for Michelle and family to celebrate the life of her dad, Alex. It was a sad day for the family, marking the loss of their generous, spirited, loving, much-loved dad, grandpa, great grandpa, brother, uncle.

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How to pay for a funeral for a friend

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.

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What is the problem with death?

What is the problem with death?  

There’s a quotation, often wrongly attributed to Einstein and often misquoted, which goes roughly: “if I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spent 55 minutes framing the problem and 5 minutes solving it”. So, I’m wondering, what is the problem with death?

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Write a tribute after a death

If you’d like to write a tribute after a death but don’t feel able, here’s how to do it – inspired by a participant in our recent Absent Friends Supper. Writing a tribute is a lovely way of remembering someone who mattered. It lets us get to the essence them by recalling some of their […]

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Masters in funerals

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.”

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