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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Planning for death (not just the funeral)

Thanks to Compassion In Dying for their thoughts on planning for death this week. “When planning for the end, consider your death, not just your funeral,” they advise…

When we think of planning for the end of our lives, what will often come to mind are funeral arrangements and ensuring your affairs are settled after you’ve gone. But what we often neglect to consider is the dying process itself – what healthcare and treatment we might receive and what our death will be like as a result.

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A useful way to spend a bank holiday

My younger self (pictured) never had to think about a useful way to spend a bank holiday. Everyday that wasn’t a school day felt like a bank holiday. There was acres of time to stare in the mirror and wonder if the monobrow would ever think out and the frizzy hair would ever calm down. These days, I never seem to have a spare minute, so when a whole spare day comes along, I want to get as much out of it as possible. So, ironically, I’ve spent the morning sorting out my bank accounts.

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Fling-o-Bingo card updated – end of life planning tool

We’ve updated our Fling-O-Bingo end of life planning tool after last week’s Dying Matters Awareness Week event, Byw Nawr (Live Now) in Cardiff.
What has bingo got to do with end of life planning, you may well ask! Well, always looking for accessible ways to open up conversations about life and death decisions, we use bingo cards as a way of playing a game to identify the Top 20 Essential Documents Next of Kin will need.

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This is Me dementia care document

I’ve just recently come across the great thing that is the This is Me dementia care document and thought I should share it. This came up when I had the privilege of speaking in Cardiff at the Byw Nawr (Live Now) event last week for Dying Matters Awareness Week 2017. We were playing Fling-O-Bingo and I […]

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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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Dying Matters Awareness Week 2017

It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week! The theme in this 8th year is What Can You Do? See what’s on across the country. Final Fling’s Barbara Chalmers will be running Too Busy to Die workshops in Cardiff on Thursday as part of the sold out Byw Nawr Event, What Can You Do? What Can We Do Together?  Not sure […]

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The role of an Executor

Thanks to Chantal from Castleacre Insurance for sharing insights into the role of an Executor this week. This could also be entitled: Executor Forced by the Court to Reimburse an Estate to the tune of £300,000. A little more arresting. Here’s what Chantal tells us: Many people who take on the role of executor for a […]

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At the end – saying goodbye to a parent

This week we’re grateful to Jennifer Levenson for sharing At the End – her way of saying goodbye to a parent. She wrote this poem for her dad’s funeral in 2008 and has been glad to let others use and adapt them since then. She offers this poem to you, if it’s helpful.

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Who calls the shots organising a funeral?

Did you know, there’s a hierarchy relating to who calls the shots, organising a funeral – unless you’ve set out other preferences in an “arrangements on death declaration”?

This came to my attention when friend of Final Fling, Hilary Peppiette, shared a summary of the Burial and Cremation (Scotland) Act 2016 – the most recent legislation affecting burial and cremation in Scotland.

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The big full stop – my view of afterlife

Have you ever noticed Final Fling’s logo has a full stop in it? The big full stop – my view of afterlife.  You see I believe we die and we’re done, gone.  I was with my dad when he died. His ‘passing’ was electric: it felt like 5,000 volts leapt from him to me and […]

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Death and letting go

This week, we look at the challenge of facing death and letting go, thanks to Evelyn Temple who shares her thoughtful, poignant story of her dad’s end of life wish – Just Let Me Go. Evelyn shares: February 25 2017 marked ten years since my Dad died. My Dad – strong, humble, constant, hardworking. He was my rock […]

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Compassion in Dying – make it your decision

We’re delighted to have Usha Grieve from Compassion in Dying blog for us this week, launching their new campaign, Make It You Decision:

Just over a month into the New Year, countless resolutions will already have been made – and broken. Many will have set out their goals for 2017 and beyond: to take control of their health, improve their fitness, learn a new skill, or pursue their dream job. We all have a vision for the future and how we’d like our lives to play out.

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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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