Gone but not forgotten

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Bereaved carers will be writing the names of lost loved ones in the sand at Ganavan as part of a special remembrance festival called To Absent Friends.

The Scotland-wide festival from November 1 to November 7 is all about celebrating, remembering and telling stories about people who have died but stay part of your lives.

In Oban, an event organised by North Argyll Carers Centre will see carers who are bereaved gather at Ganavan beach on Wednesday November 3 at 3.30pm.

It was the centre’s learning and development co-ordinator Mairi Fleck who came up with the idea of the moving outdoor event and writing names in the sand.

‘The Covid-19 pandemic has created terrible hardships and sadness for so many, and one of the most heartbreaking effects of the pandemic has been the inability of people to meet together to celebrate the life of a loved one after their death.

‘With Covid in mind I wanted to come up with something we could do that would be safe and outdoors. Everyone loves going to Ganavan so meeting there to write names in the sand struck me as a good idea,’ she said.

Mairi was successful in getting a grant from the To Absent Friends festival to make it happen.

There will also be a drone on the day taking footage that will be turned into a keepsake film to show later on Facebook.

People meeting at the beach will watch together as the sea washes the names away with the incoming tide.

‘It will be very emotional remembering the loved ones we have lost but we will all be supporting each other together,’ added Mairi, who runs a group through the Carers Centre called Still Caring.

Still Caring meets twice a month, once on Zoom and a second meet-up at the cafe at Dunollie.

Bereaved carers from  Mull, Iona, Coll and Tiree are also being encouraged to go to a beach at the same time on November 3 to join in.

To find our more you can email Mairi at mairi@northargyllcarers.org.uk