A GROUND-breaking website has been set up to encourage people to talk about death and plan for their passing.
Final Fling is a free one-stop website which has been set up to allow people to express what they want to happen when they die.
It offers advice on everything from planning a funeral to writing a will and even allows users to upload videos for loved ones and leave them in virtual safe deposit boxes.
The site is the brainchild of businesswoman Barbara Chalmers who was inspired to get people thinking about death after attending a family funeral.
The mother-of-two said: “I was at my Aunt Nellie’s funeral a few years ago and it was terrible. You did not get a sense of her, or who she was. She was referred to as ‘Helen’, her Sunday name, and I actually questioned if it was my aunt they were talking about.
“I came away thinking how tragic it was and how she would have wanted things done so differently. I was determined to get as many people as possible thinking about what they want when they go.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about or hear people talk about death, yet it is the only sure thing in life. Rather than think of it as macabre and gloomy I want to breathe life into death by getting people to plan for exactly what they want when they do go.”
The website has already caught the eye of two of Scotland’s top entrepreneurs, Sir Willie Haughey and Sir Tom Hunter, who have given the green light for Final Fling to take part in the business incubator scheme they run which offers free services to help company start-ups.
The scheme, Entrepreneurial Spark, operates from Glasgow and Ayr and gives new businesses free advice, office accommodation, IT access and mentoring.
Ms Chalmers, 52, of Glasgow, said: “It’s incredibly helpful for a new company like ours to get a leg up from others in the business sector and is sure to help us learn and grow.
“Contrary to what people think, a lot of people actually like talking about death and have very strong feelings about what music they want at their funeral, how and where they want to be buried or cremated and what memories they want to leave loved ones.
“This website helps people think about all the issues which arise when someone dies letting them plan the way they want things to happen when they are no longer here.
“It eases the burden on loved ones, many of whom are faced with making these important and very personal decisions for people who have not left such instructions before they die.”
The website, which has attracted thousands of visitors since going live in April, also runs a forum to encourage people to think about and discuss what they want to happen when they die.
It also runs surveys about issues relating to death and offers updated top ten lists of the most popular funeral songs played at funerals and tips on organising and paying for a funeral.
The site lists multi-faith and non-religious organisations and individuals who carry out funerals and advises people on ways to save money when writing a will, ordering funeral flowers and arranging transport.
Final Fling was recently voted Best New Website by the prestigious Web User Magazine which gave the site a five-star user rating.
Ms Chalmers said: “Ultimately this is a website for life and death decisions to help people accept death as a natural part of life.”