Order of Service recipe

This week, my friend Rebecca shares a surprising, delighting moment at a recent family funeral – to come across an Order of Service recipe. “Pat Mills, died at the end of last year and in my family, that officially marks the End of an Era. Pat and Bunty were legends.  They were distant cousins of ours – […]

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Funeral Expense Assistance benefit in Scotland

Are you aware of the new Funeral Expense Assistance benefit being introduced in Scotland? It’s part of new Social Security changes. Shortened to FEA benefit, this was put before the Scottish Parliament on 18 February 2019 and it’s due to launch in summer 2019, replacing the current Funeral Expenses Payment. Here’s what Scottish Government tell us about the new benefit. “Arranging […]

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The Magic of Tidying

So… have you been caught up in the new-year-new-me frenzy created Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Magic of Tidying. If so, maybe, like me, you’ve found yourself folding t-shirts into small little stand-up packages and enjoying every minute of your new-found control, discipline and mindfulness.

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Day of the Dead, Hallowe’en and death

What’s the connection between Day of the Dead, Hallowe’en and death?
Day of the Dead is a Mexican festival to remember and celebrate our loved and lost. Making offerings at shrines, grave tending, sharing food and storytelling are all part of the ritual, designed to help heal and remember. Hallowe’en is

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Designing compassion into services for death and dying

Designing compassion into services for death and dying has been at the heart of Final Fling’s work since our online community launched in 2012. 

6 years on, Founder Barbara Chalmers presented a slot on designing compassion into services for death at the Everyday Compassion conference organised by Good Life Good Death Good Grief to bring together death workers from all over Scotland and beyond.

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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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