To Absent Friends 2021 – St Columba’s Hospice Palliative Care, Edinburgh

To Absent Friends 2021

To Absent Friends 2021 image

What is grief if not love persevering? People who have died remain a part of our lives - their stories are our stories.

‘To Absent Friends’ is a week-long festival of storytelling and remembrance that offers people across Scotland a time to remember, to tell stories, to celebrate and to reminisce about the people they love who have died.

Iona Cafe, Tree of Remembrance

From 1st to 7th November, St Columba’s Hospice Care welcomes all who wish to mark their own stories of grief, uncertainty, loss and hope during this time. Come as often as you like, and tie a ribbon to the tree outside our Iona Café in remembrance of those you have loved and lost, celebrating and giving thanks for their lives, and grieving the spaces left by their dying.

Baskets of ribbons can be found at our Main Reception desk and in the Iona Café

Portobello Beach, Remembrance Campfires

We’re delighted to share information about a forthcoming event being hosted in Portobello by Action Porty during ‘To Absent Friends’ week.

On: Sunday 7 November, 2pm - 4.30pm

At: Bellfield, 16B Bellfield Street, Portobello, EH15 2BP

The afternoon will commence at 2pm in Bellfield’s garden with an opening ceremony, with folks then making their way down to the beach where there will be campfires already lit for individual and family gatherings.

There will be space to share and speak or to sit in quiet contemplation as those who have died are remembered and acknowledged. Circulation between campfires within the current Covid guidelines is encouraged. Sharing stories and photos along with memories is a positive experience that facilitates forward movement in the grief journey of individuals and groups.

A creative station will offer participants the opportunity to decorate a stone with their loved one’s name, which will later be placed in the sea around 4pm at high tide, drawing the event to a natural close.

Please feel free to bring a flask of warm tea, coffee or soup to enjoy or something to eat but due to Covid precautions food and drink should not be shared and will not be provided.

The event is free but ticketed and these can be booked on Eventbrite. Please book a ticket for all members of your party.

Book a place here

You can find out more about 'To Absent Friends' and ways in which communities across Scotland are marking this special week of remembrance here.

Illustration of dove carrying letters

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive our news articles, updates and find out how all our donations are used by signing up to our newsletter.