Everyone has a story to tell of someone who is dead who they miss – a grand-parent who had a fascinating life; a friend with a unique sense of humour; a child who loved to dance.
A person’s death does not lessen the meaning of the relationship we have with them, or the love we feel for them, but many of us can feel uncomfortable openly sharing memories and talking about loved ones who have died.
There is often a natural reticence in our culture around death and grief, and ‘To Absent Friends’ is a new festival of storytelling and remembrance for Scotland (November 1-7) which aims to provide a forum which encourages sharing and celebrating the lives of those we have loved.
This may mean talking with family and friends, sharing memories and photographs, lighting a candle, visiting a favourite place or listening to a piece of music that reminds you of your special person.
Strathcarron Hospice is home to many special memories as we strive to make every moment count for our patients and their families, but sometimes the most precious memories can be found in the everyday lives we share with our families and friends over the years, and taking time to acknowledge and share these with others can be very special.
To Absent Friends is a chance for all of us to share and to listen, without discomfort or embarrassment. It is a chance to revive old traditions and create new ones – an opportunity for us all, in our own unique way, to raise a toast ‘to absent friends’.