Although we in our culture sometimes feel uncomfortable talking about it, death is a normal part of life. After a bereavement, sometimes society pressures us to “move on”. Taking the time to remember people who are gone can often be very helpful, as part of the process of grieving.
Many churches hold an annual event, when people are invited to remember their Absent Friends. To Absent Friends is a people’s festival of storytelling and remembrance taking place across Scotland from 1-7 November. Groups are being invited to take part with the help of a small grants scheme.
The festival, which began in 2014, gives people across Scotland the opportunity to remember loved ones who have died, through stories, celebrations and acts of reminiscence. As Robert Peacock from Palliative Care Scotland explained: “November has long been associated with remembrance of the dead, and To Absent Friends builds on that tradition. In previous years, the festival has featured storytelling evenings, poetry nights, photography exhibitions, concerts, scrapbooking workshops, cafes of reminiscence, and hundreds of private acts of remembrance. All ideas are welcome!”
Some churches are already involved: Wardie Parish Church in Edinburgh, for example, held a special service and opened their doors during To Absent Friends week so people could record the name of their absent friend in a memory book. Cramond Kirk turned their Saturday Breakfast Club into a Café of Reminiscence.
Ideas for participation in To Absent Friends can be found on www.toabsentfriends.org.uk, as well as details of how to apply for grants of up to £250 to hold an event as part of the festival.
For further information contact Robert Peacock on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 272 2735.