We invited members of our community to join us on Wednesday 1 November, for an evening of comforting conversations, marking the start of To Absent Friends Week (1-7 November).
To Absent Friends Week is an annual Scotland-wide festival of remembrance and story-telling created to give people a focal point in the year to gather together, tell stories, celebrate amd reminisce about people they love who have died.
Our Wellbeing, Arts and Chaplaincy teams invited guests to explore this year's event theme, "The Essence of Memory", through their five senses. Guests were treated to a warming bowl of soup and invited to discover the soothing properties of essential oils, share comforting conversations with one another and contribute to the creation of a 'virtual remebrance garden' on a canvas.
All of this was set to a relaxing soundtrack of live music provided by Bruce Armstrong and members of the Hospice Arts team.
We asked some of our team members to share what made the event so special for them:
"When laughter or tears flow easily, you know that people feel safe and at ease. Sharing yummy soup and bread together added to the homely atmosphere."
"People were invited to draw a flower that they associate with their loved one and write things that remind them of that person on a leaf. The leaf was then stuck onto a canvas. The idea behind this activity was to create a visual remembrance garden."
Jade, Child & Families Practitioner.
"I think the event provided a lovely space for people to reflect, laugh and be in others company. People that were drawn to the essential oils table all spoke about their loss and reflected on how the oils invoked memories for them and then chose oils that supported them through their grief. They all found this comforting and uplifting."
Lisa, Wellbeing Lead
"It was such a nice evening, the soup was lovely, the café was lovely and the company was…lovely!"
Maggie, Compassionate Neighbours Lead
Find out more about To Absent Friends.