Toby Angel and I chat about how to bring together the ancient rituals of life and death, and the digital age of communication online can work together incredibly well-helping families find new ways of expressing and remembering the loss of someone they love.
Will your family know where to find all your vital estate planning information? In this episode, I chat with Ric Parks the founder of AfterVault. You can centralise and organise all your vital documents with AfterVault and when you die they will pass them on to the people you’ve designated. We chat about lost valuables, digital legacy and the rise of digital estate planning.
Justine Wykerd is a civil celebrant based in Warwickshire. In September 2017 she was awarded "Celebrant of the Year" at the Good Funeral Awards. In this episode, we chat about what it takes to be a successful celebrant and how having an online presence is becoming critical to run your business. We also get a guest interruption from you deaf dog! Makes for a fun episode.
Louise Winter - Funeral Director & Founder of Poetic Endings. She was a funeral celebrant before she decided to become a funeral director and launch the funeral service she believes needs to exist.
Before becoming a funeral director, Louise was the editor of the Good Funeral Guide. She's also the director of Life. Death. Whatever. An award festival and community that exists to change the dialogue around death and dying. In 2017, Louise won a Death Oscar at the Good Funeral Awards. She loves food, fashion, poetry and just about everything else.
Poetic Endings is founded on the belief that a good funeral can be profound and transformational in helping to accept and acknowledge that someone has died. Facing death can be an overwhelming, traumatic and confusing time.
When a loved one dies, your world can fall apart. And the complexity and strain of funeral arrangements, as well as the financial burden, can add to your distress.
Harbour is offering a different choice. They are not traditional funeral directors. They offer simple, direct cremation and memorial services. Is direct cremation for you?
Qeepr - Ensuring A Loved One's Legacy Lives On(line) Forever.
The Qeepr Team has created an interactive story-telling platform that allows you to fill in the “dash” of your life or a loved one with memories, messages, photos, smiles and laughter. You now have the ability to become a Qeepr to preserve and share the legacy of your predecessors. Qeepr is a social media site dedicated to memorialising the lives of the departed with the aid of modern technology.
Bounce Works have created an interactive game to help families cope with life limiting illness, death and grief. Apart of Me is a safe virtual space that helps families find their way through grief. Apart of Me is based on the research that shows talking with children openly and honestly but in an age-sensitive way about death and dying can prevent them from developing entrenched, complex feelings around their loss. Apart of Me helps families by developing emotional literacy and wisdom around death. It helps by curating a secure digital memory box of your loved one. Also, it helps by finding and connecting with other people in similar situations, a way to not feel alone in a difficult situation. In its prototype form, Apart of Me is launching its next phase through an IndieGoGo launch.
Live - Prepare - Remember with Memorialize Me
We have all been touched by the passing of someone we care about deeply. These experiences have highlighted how difficult and painful this can be for those left to mourn and grieve. Memorialize Me aims to help our users better prepare themselves and their loved ones for their inevitable passing. You can use MemorializeMe on your computer or download the free iPhone app to use your account wherever you are. Memorialize Me also provides a wealth of in depth, timely, and relevant death care related information to their user community. They provide applications, tools and reference materials to those in need of death care related services.
LivesArchived - Securing Your Life Story Online
You present the materials—personal papers, letters, clippings, art work, compositions, drawings, plans, photos and videos. LivesArchived provides a safe, permanent, public archive for them. They ensure transparency about where the information is stored and who stores it. Whether you want to create a work portfolio, family archive, ancestral history, personal library or loved one’s memorial, LivesArchived will meet your needs.
Huunuu believes in inspiring choices to create the life story you want to leave behind. The huunuu pipe dream had been around for many years and in July 2014 Co-Founders Clare and Steve Turner finally incorporated huunuu.
Using huunuu helps create those crucial conversations and lets you enjoy some of the most amazing and inspiring businesses from around the world that they have brought into one place.
The Musing of a Crematorium Worker
Written in an honest, funny, poignant and revealing way, The Musings of a Crematorium Worker is a new blog by Kim Morris. What happens behind the scenes day by day in a busy crematorium? Kim writes in the first person and with incredible insight on the events, process and thoughts as she works each day in a busy London Crematorium. Her blog is certainly worth a read for anyone who is interested in how working in this aspect of the bereavement industry is truly like.
Swansongs is a global service established for archiving and dispatching legacy letters for at least the next one hundred years.
Imagine getting a birthday card from a lost parent, a letter from a friend who died too young, or a Christmas card from a Grandparent who passed fifty years ago. Think how it would make you feel, seeing their handwriting and soaking in their words, a message written for that moment, from a very long time ago. This is what Swansongs wants to bring to the legacy and EOL planning marketplace.
Who Says a Good Obituary Has to Be Dull?
The traditional obituary is a gloomy collection of dry facts and chilly clichés. The internet has swept away space restrictions and made newspaper deadlines irrelevant. Social media has encouraged us to swap stories and celebrate our loved ones’ lives. Why should today’s tributes rely on the same dull script we followed 30 years ago? It’s time for the old-school obituary to slip into something more contemporary.
How To Write An Online Obituary is a new book just published by Melissa Jayne Kinsey. In the book she shows step by step how to write a fresh, original tribute and create a memorable virtual memorial featuring photos, videos, and music.
In this interview, I chat with Marnie Summerfield Smith, a full-time memoir writer. We talk about how there is no such thing as an inconsequential life and no reason why everyone should leave some kind of record of their life story as a legacy for the future.
Marnie explains a 3 step process to writing your memories and also options of what to do with the memoir when it is finished. If you have ever thought about penning a few lines of your life this episode will give you the tools and hopefully the inspiration to start.
An Interview with David Sawyer Founder & CEO of TSOLIFE
TSOLife focuses on creating innovative ways to preserve a legacy and pass down life stories for future generations. Our mission is that no grandchild should have to wonder what their grandparent was like. Our unique solutions create the most personalised way to pass down personal stories that families will share and cherish for generations.
A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND DAYS
Look at an old photograph.
A frozen moment in time.
A time that lives again.
They live again.
They say a picture paints a thousand words. I say they paint a thousand days. The people in the photograph, though they may no longer be alive, live as you look into their faces. You see their smiles; you can hear in your mind the way they laughed one more time. You can relive that day, that moment, that minute as though they were still here and time had stood still. A thousand days in one image.
“Western funerals: black hearses, and black horses, and fast-fading flowers. Why should black be the colour of death? Why not the colours of a sunset?
— Daniele Varè, The Maker of Heavenly Trousers
"Talking about sex will not get you pregnant, neither will talking about a funeral kill you."
She is right. From my experience, people rarely speak of death. In 106 funerals conducted in the last six months, only a handful of families knew the wishes of their loved one. When they did, it made such a difference. It does not matter how old you are, plan your funeral.
Lesson Two - Life Is Short
We cannot judge a song by its duration
Nor by the number of its notes;
We must judge it by the way
it touches and lifts our souls.
Sometimes those unfinished
are among the most beautiful.
In the last six months, I have written 106 funeral services. Wrapped up in the mystery of those unwelcome days, are four valuable lessons I have learned. Lessons about life and how you can leave a digital legacy for your family. This is lesson two.