When someone takes their last breath we often don’t know what to do next. The best thing is usually to SLOW DOWN. There is no rush. Give yourself time to work out what’s best for your own wellbeing and that of those around you during the coming days. It may not be what you initially think. The decisions made in the first hours really can affect your life, and the lives of those close to you, for years to come.  We help you learn how. 

You have the option to take charge of everything, perhaps with support and encouragement from someone with experience; to combine what you want to do with what a funeral director can do for you; or to ask a funeral director to take charge of everything. Become familiar with your options now so that you are ready to care for yourself and your loved ones – in body and soul – and set your grieving process on track. Even if you ask a funeral director to make all the arrangements, there are simple and comforting ways you can be actively involved in the days before a funeral.

The main carer and closest people may be in deep shock no matter how expected someone’s death. This is not because it’s wrong, it’s the way our brains work.  They can be the “quiet” voice when others around are getting busy contacting funeral directors. They may feel a strong need to stay close to the person who has died for a few days in the familiarity of home – it may take several days for them to be ready to let go. It is important that we make sure anyone who feels this way gets what they need, as otherwise they can have long-term regrets that affect how they grieve. 

We are keen that everyone in Scotland is fully informed about their options when someone dies. We provide two opportunities for exploration of the options After The Last Breath, to help people to discern what is right for them and those around them. Our aim is that people will gain the knowledge, confidence and curiosity to allow them to follow their instincts and to support their well-being when someone dies. 

Intensive Online Course

This course is run several times per year over 9 weeks. It is a mix of self-study and online group activity with 4 live online Q&A/discussion sessions. You receive materials each week including teaching videos, interesting links and illuminating exercises. This is an opportunity to learn with like-minded folks.

Self-paced Modules

The self-paced modules cover the same material as the online course. They are an opportunity to explore the areas of interest to you at your own pace and in your own time. For each module you receive a teaching video (with transcript), interesting links to related material and illuminating exercises.  

Like many things in life, there are pros and cons to taking charge yourself when someone dies. When you know what these are, it gets a whole lot easier to make the best choices for yourself and the people you love. We are here to help you make informed choices.

Keeping someone’s body at home is not always the first priority but is always worth considering, for at least a few days. This can aid in the grieving process, bring a sense of fulfilment and help families, including children, to meet death as something understandable and natural. Don’t be put off by the thought of tending to a dead body as it is usually easier than expected. Discuss with us the practicalities for your situation so you can make an informed decision.

Wendy’s Story

Rosemary’s Story

Sven & Betsy’s Story

We provide information and support to people wishing to consider the options after death, especially those who instinctively want to keep someone at home (or bring them back home) in the days after their last breath.

We are happy to give a talk to your organisation or group of friends anywhere in Scotland –  send us a message and we can arrange it. 

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“Fantastic to have this space and opportunity to learn and talk about the hard stuff and the taboo.”
We understand there are taboos and uncertainty surrounding death, but the information we can provide is practical and reassuring.
  • Laws about death and funerals in Scotland.
  • Immediately after someone dies at home.
  • Someone dies in a hospital, hospice or care home.
  • Caring at home for someone who has died.
  • When a baby dies.
  • Arranging and paying for funerals in Scotland.
  • Web links and leaflets.

Speaking Up for The Quiet Voices

“When my dad died I really wanted to keep him at home but the funeral director told me it wasn’t a good idea so I didn’t. Me being a nurse as well, I should have known better. I didn’t feel I could argue with him. I am so sorry I didn’t get the chance.”

“I looked after my husband all the time at home when he was dying. My sons arrived just as he died and called the funeral director. He was wrenched away from me within an hour. I should never have let him go. I am still regretting it 3 years later but have never talked to anyone about it. “

“If only I had known… I promised to care for my mum at home but she had to go into hospital in her last week. I would have jumped at the chance to take her home again after she died and care for her one last time.”

Upcoming events

Round the Table

Stockbridge Library, Edinburgh

Wednesday 17 April 2024

Online Network Gathering

A Place for Keening Today?

Tuesday 7th May 7pm

Thank you for contributing towards the essential costs of our charity. We depend on donations to keep the charity running for the benefit of everyone in Scotland, and beyond.

If you are currently a UK taxpayer please  complete a gift aid declaration to boost your donation by 25p for every £1 you donate. Email this form to admin@pushingupthedaisies.org.uk

Slow Down When Someone Dies

by Lin Carruthers and Kate Clark

Do the lights go out when someone dies? Are you in the dark about what to do when a person takes their last breath? This life-affirming guide encourages and enables you to explore the options for everyone involved.

It is currently available in paperback and eBook format. It is also available as a pdf by donation from admin@pushingupthedaisies.org.uk.

We are working on making it available in local bookshops in June 2023.

Buy online from Lulu
Buy online from Amazon

This module explores an approach to preparing for your Daisy Days which takes account of yourself and also those central to your life. It covers who can legally make arrangements for you, how to begin, the influences on decisions, explorative conversations, and gives step-by-step guidance to write your “After My Last Breath” letter.

You will receive a link to:

  • watch the module video (approx 30 mins)
  • download the video transcript
  • download an illuminating exercise
  • access other useful resources.

The “Buy Module” button below takes you to PayPal, where you can pay via your PayPal account or use a credit/debit card as a guest. Once you have paid, click on the “Return to Seller” button at the bottom of the page and you will be taken directly to the Module webpage.

To be able to access the materials in the future, you need to store the Module webpage address. Your PayPal receipt gives this address in the Description field. Once on the Module webpage you can give your email address to receive the webpage address by email too.

For further information contact admin@pushingupthedaisies.org.ukan