Festival blog

This festival blog is a space where people can share the plans and activities they are undertaking as part of To Absent Friends 2015. Please email if you've something you'd like to add, or go here for some ideas on how to get involved. You can also read last year's blog here.

Essence of a Memory Competition

All kinds of things evoke memories of people who've died, and many of them come with an interesting anecdote. How do you capture the essence of a memory? Can it be done in 50 well-chosen words and a photograph?

The To Absent Friends Essence of a Memory competition ran as part of the Luminate Festival of Creative Ageing, from 1-16 October 2015. It challenged people take a photo and write up to 50 words which together evoke a story or memory of a dead loved one.

This gallery shows the winning images: Essence of a Memory Gallery

Rosepark and Rosehill Remembrance Week

Rosepark and Rosehill, part of the Balmer Care Homes in Lanarkshire, will be having a week of remembrance from the 2 - 6 of November.

The week of reminiscence will be in memory of friends and family who are no longer with us. They will be celebrating their lives as they remember - fun times, hard times and sad times. On 6 November, there will be a balloon release with relatives who have lost their loved ones who stayed in the homes, then there will be a celebration of their lives with an afternoon tea. Everyone will have the opportunity to write a little note and attach it to their balloon before releasing them.

Here's To You

At the Serenity Cafe, just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, they are hosting Here’s To You, a memorial supper to those who we have lost to drug and alcohol use.

The event on Friday 6 November from 6.30-8.30pm, will be an informal supper with tributes and stories to loved ones who have died after struggling with addiction or alcoholism.
Guests are welcome to say a few words on the night to commemorate a loved one. If you would like to attend please contact mail@comas.org.uk in advance.

Ardgowan Hospice

Ardgowan Hospice are working with the young people in the secondary schools within Inverclyde to think about what they might want on their bucket lists, and also how they would like to remember their Absent Friends. One way which the young people will do this is to write the name of their Absent Friend on a card and pin it onto a communal notice board as an act of remembrance.

Cafe of Reminiscence

Another Cafe of Reminiscence is being held in the staff canteen at Glasgow Royal Infirmary on 3 November from 10am - 2pm.

Staff working within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have decided to host a reminiscence café to support To Absent Friends. Conversation menus will be used to encourage staff to have conversations about death and dying.

Staff from Palliative Care, the Chaplaincy, and Health Improvement will chat to staff and encourage them to write a message to someone they’ve lost and place it on a board. At the end of the day, these messages will be collated to make a memory book which will be placed within the hospital chapel for future access.

Food will be provided, as well as resources on power of attorney, will making, Dying Matters leaflets, the Living Life organisation, and bereavement leaflets. Display boards will be used to exhibit the photographic display commissioned last year to celebrate To Absent Friends.

Everyone is very welcome to join in.

If you'd like to hold your own Cafe of Reminiscence see our handy guide here.

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