To Absent Friends

Two organisations which help people prepare for end of life matters have organised an event to remember loved ones who have died.

Pushing up the Daisies and Before I Go Solutions are holding a special screening of Pixar animation Coco followed by a meal where guests will be encouraged to share stories in remembrance of people who have died.

The event is part of To Absent Friends, a Scotland-wide festival of storytelling and remembrance.

Kate Clark of Pushing Up the Daisies, a Scotland-based charity network which helps people explore the possibility of looking after a deceased loved one at home explained: “The event is part of a national festival which will give people the opportunity to celebrate the lives of people who have died. They will be able to remember their loved ones and share memories. Sharing in this way can be a good thing for personal healing and makes grief a more shared experience. It’s also a way to make our ancestors part of our everyday lives.”

She added: “The screening of Coco is very poignant as whilst it is an animation, the story is based around the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday which focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. We will follow the film which we hope will inspire people, with a meal where we will encourage people to talk about their loved ones, bring photographs or simply just raise a glass in their memory.”

The event will take place on November 1 at the Playhouse in Elgin followed by a meal at a local restaurant.

The To Absent Friends festival was started in 2014. It runs across Scotland from 1 – 7 November.

“Most people have lost someone dear to them,” says Robert Peacock of Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, the alliance of organisations behind the festival. “But they live on in our stories and memories. To Absent Friends recognises that. We’re very glad that Pushing Up The Daisies and Before I Go Solutions have chosen to mark the event with the film and the meal.

He added: “There is still time for people to get involved with the festival themselves. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. The festival exists to allow people to remember their loved ones in whatever way they feel able – with a large public celebration or a small personal remembrance. But we’d love to share the stories of people who do organise something.”

The festival website, www.toabsentfriends.org.uk, has plenty of suggestions of ways to participate. There are plenty of online activities for the week too. People are invited to change their social media profile pictures to someone who has died, with a story and the hashtag #ToAbsentFriends. People can also share their tributes on the online Wall of Remembrance, and their songs on the Remembrance Playlist, both of which can be found on the To Absent Friends website.

To book for this event visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-different-kind-of-night-out-tickets-51285833308