To Read: Dealing with the Death of a Colleague in the Workplace

 Dealing with the Death of a Colleague in the Workplace By Liann Starr | Fast Company (8/8/19)

"For a lot of workers, the fact they have any reaction at all to the death of an acquaintance—someone they may have only chatted with in the office kitchen—is jarring. 'People think, ‘Why am I feeling this?’ But sometimes working with someone for five years can be, unfortunately, more significant than the time we spend with good friends,' says Litsa Williams, cofounder of the site What’s Your Grief? 'We don’t have a framework for that, and we may feel we have less of a right to have emotions about that.'"

See also: Seven Tips for Thoughtfully Dealing with Grief in the Workplace By Lindsay Tigar | Fast Company (2/5/21)

To Read: On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic

On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic By Jesmyn Ward | Vanity Fair (September 2020)

The acclaimed novelist lost her beloved husband—the father of her children—as COVID-19 swept across the country. She writes through their story, and her grief.

"I cried in wonder each time I saw protest around the world because I recognized the people. I recognized the way they zip their hoodies, the way they raised their fists, the way they walked, the way they shouted. I recognized their action for what it was: witness. Even now, each day, they witness.

They witness injustice.

They witness this America, this country that gaslit us for 400 fucking years.

Witness that my state, Mississippi, waited until 2013 to ratify the 13th Amendment.

Witness that Mississippi didn’t remove the Confederate battle emblem from its state flag until 2020.

Witness Black people, Indigenous people, so many poor brown people, lying on beds in frigid hospitals, gasping our last breaths with COVID-riddled lungs, rendered flat by undiagnosed underlying conditions, triggered by years of food deserts, stress, and poverty, lives spent snatching sweets so we could eat one delicious morsel, savor some sugar on the tongue, oh Lord, because the flavor of our lives is so often bitter."

To Watch: Russell Brand - My Cat Died

Russell Brand - My Cat Died (April 2020) 

"My cat Morrissey died. 

I had him for him for 16 years. This is how it has affected me."


To Read: Everyone Deserves a Death Buddy

Everyone Deserves a Death Buddy By Aisha Adkins | The Order of the Good Death (April 27, 2019)

"Our discussions ranged from the deep and somewhat ethereal, like what life after death is like, to the more practical, like whether or not people should tag dead friends on social media as though they are still living. We did not always share the same thoughts and ideology about death; Elly’s earthy spirituality did not align with my Christian-Judeo faith. But despite our different perspectives, we kept the conversation going."

"If you are interested in finding your own Death Buddy, I suggest you look for someone who:
  • Has earned your trust and whose trust you have earned
  • Will not judge you
  • Respects your beliefs and boundaries
  • Is willing to be frank and open
  • Lets you mourn without making it about them
  • Will not rush you through the grieving process
  • And, knows how to balance the dark with the light."

To Do: Lakewood Cemetery Stroll

Cemetery Stroll: Lakewood's Community Burial Areas | Lakewood Cemetery (November 24, 2020)

"The outdoors can be a peaceful respite from the stress of these difficult times. Our gates remain open each day for visiting and walking the grounds. With over 250 acres and over 11 miles of roads, Lakewood is happy to provide a safe place to walk—with plenty of room for social distancing. We are excited to release this Community Burial Areas Cemetery Stroll, which shares the history behind some of Lakewood’s shared sites of remembrance."

To Read: The Grief and Mourning of Cancer

 The Grief and Mourning of Cancer by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | Coping with Cancer (March/April 2019)

"From the moment you first learned you had cancer, you began to experience losses of many kinds. To begin with, you lost your health. Even if you recovered your health in the months and years after your treatment, you know what it means to feel healthy one moment and frighteningly unhealthy the next. You also lost your sense of normalcy and safety. Few diseases turn your life so topsy-turvy for such a lengthy period. And the uncertainty of your prognosis likely made you feel unsafe and anxious – for yourself as well as for those who love you and depend on you."

To Read: Reddit Saved Me After My Dad Died

Reddit Saved Me After My Dad Died by Dylan Haas | Mashable (date unknown)

"What I found on Reddit wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I was taken aback by the number of people telling their stories of loss, and the amount of support each and every one of them received from the other members. I felt immediately connected to this group of strangers, many of them posting old pictures of their deceased loved ones, sharing anecdotes about their daily struggles with coping, and waxing poetic about how shitty they felt. They came from all walks of life and had experienced wildly different losses — parents, siblings, children, pets, friends. The thing that brought them together was that something important was now missing from their lives. I could relate."

To Read: Women Take the Lead in the Death Positive Movement

Women Take the Lead in the Death Positive Movement By Sarah Chavez | Yes! Magazine-California News Service (September 3, 2019)

"Bareham is just one of many women who are disrupting the death paradigm by challenging our traditional funerary practices and advocating for transparency, eco-friendly options, and family involvement. While White patriarchy has spent the past hundred years shutting the doors and pulling the curtain—obfuscating and profiting from one of life’s most significant milestones—modern women are questioning whom our current system is serving and telling the funeral industry that its time is up.

Make no mistake, the future of death is a feminist one."

To Watch: The Life of Death

The Life of Death: A Short Film written and directed by Marsha Onderstijn (2012). 

Full credits can be found at IMDB.

For more about this film, check out this interview with Animator Marsha Onderstijn:

"The Life of Death is a short animation that follows Life, personified as a doe, as it encounters Death, a ghostly character who nevertheless turns out to be kind, caring and compassionate. Initially fearful, the doe tries to avoid death, but finally comes to accept its essential relationship to life and recognises that this is natural, not scary."

Please note: This lovely short film is quite an emotional watch. You may want to be ready for possible tears.

To Read: Coronavirus Has Upended Our World, It's OK to Grieve

Coronavirus Has Upended Our World. It's OK To Grieve by Stephanie O'Neill | NPR.org (Mar 26, 2020)

"The coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe has not only left many anxious about life and death issues, it's also left people struggling with a host of less obvious, existential losses as they heed stay-home warnings and wonder how bad all of this is going to get.

To weather these uncertain times, it's important to acknowledge and grieve lost routine, social connections, family structures and our sense of security — and then create new ways to move forward — says interfaith chaplain and trauma counselor, Terri Daniel."

To Read: This Pandemic of Grief

This Pandemic of Grief by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | The Center for Loss and Life Transition (Apr 15, 2020)

"The coronavirus is not only causing a viral pandemic—it is giving rise to a pandemic of grief. As I write this, in mid-March, we as a global community are suffering so many losses that I hardly know where to begin.

Death and grief go hand-in-hand, of course. Thousands of people have already died of COVID-19 worldwide. Many more are dying right now. These are terrible losses for the loved ones of these precious individuals, and they will need our support and empathy in the months to come.

Yet what strikes me at this moment is that this aggressive new virus is threatening every single person on Earth with myriad losses of every kind. Name something you care about or that gives your life meaning. In all likelihood, this attachment is now negatively affected or threatened in some way by the coronavirus."

To Watch: My Mother's Eyes

My Mother’s Eyes: A Soulful Animated Short Film About Loss and the Unbreakable Bonds of Love by Maria Popova | Brain Pickings (January 22, 2020)

"Animator, illustrator, and director Jenny Wright was midway through her university studies at Central Saint Martin’s College in London when her mother died. In consonance with Borges’s insistence that “all that happens to us… is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art,” she transmuted her grief — that slippery, noxious, all-pervading mercury of sorrow which words can never fully hold — into a soulful animated short film titled “My Mother’s Eyes,” which became her graduation thesis. Simple, tenderly expressive line drawings unspool a complex, inexpressible universe of feeling as this deeply personal memorial unlatches the floodgates to a universal human emotion."

To Read: A Woman's Work: Till Death Do Us Part

A Woman's Work: Till Death Do Us Part by Carolita Johnson | Longreads (October 2019)

"Death is a process I knew very little about until my life partner began dying. He and I had to learn everything while we went through the process together. I say “learn,” but at this point I’m not sure we learned anything. Sometimes I think Michael was the only one who learned anything real and true, as in Pete Townshend’s words in “The Seeker”:

I won’t get to get what I’m after, till the day I die.

He died three years ago, and this is the first time I’m writing about it in retrospect."

To Read: Grappling with a Terrible Milestone

Grappling With a Terrible Milestone: One Hundred Thousand Dead by Meghan O'Rourke | The Atlantic (May 23, 2020)

"As the U.S. death count from COVID-19 approached 100,000, I thought about how different it is to mourn a single death and to mourn a death in the middle of a mass trauma—to mourn amid so much death."

To Read: Funerals and Dying in Absentia

Funerals & Dying in Absentia: Inspiration & Tips During COVID-19 by Sarah Chavez | The Order of the Good Death (Mar 27, 2020)

"How can we honor a life in the absence of funeral? What can we do to show our love when we can’t be there to hold the hand of a dying loved one? How can we cultivate social and emotional connection without the benefit of being physically present?"

To Read: All the Things We Have to Mourn Now

All the Things We Have to Mourn Now by Joe Pinsker | The Atlantic (May 1, 2020)

"Because of the risk of viral transmission, many people are dying apart from their loved ones, and many others are mourning apart from theirs. Meanwhile, those who haven’t lost someone personally are surrounded by daily reminders of death, and are mourning their lost routines, jobs, and plans for the future, all while fearing for their health and that of their friends and family."

To Read: How the COVID-19 Pandemic May Permanently Change Our "Good Death" Narrative

How the COVID-19 Pandemic May Permanently Change Our "Good Death" Narrative by Cody J. Sanders | Religion Dispatches (Apr 2, 2020)

"Periodically, a crisis disrupts the possibility of that Good Death for a whole society. We are now living through―and dying within―such a disruption. The global pandemic of COVID-19 will challenge our potential for a Good Death in ways we haven’t imagined or prepared for."

To Watch: Funerals in the Age of Coronavirus

Funerals in the Age of Coronavirus
(YouTube video) | Ask a Mortician (Mar 26, 2020)

Facts about funerals in the age of Coronavirus with Caitlin Doughty (The Order of the Good Death, Ask a Mortician).



To Read: Talking About Death During COVID-19

Talking About Death During COVID-19 by Louise Hung | The Order of the Good Death (Mar 25, 2020)

"COVID-19 has us all thinking about the same thing: death.

Death in numbers, death in its potential, death as a threat. Death as something that has crept into the back of our minds and has taken up residence.

For many of us, even those who are accustomed to talking about death or consider themselves death positive, the topic of death might suddenly feel taboo. Too real. Too grim.

So to help you navigate death talk in the time of COVID-19, here are a few questions you may be asking yourself and some advice on how to handle them."


To Read: Pandemic Care Guide

Pandemic Care Guide - At Home Guidance for Caring for the Dying, the Deceased, and the Bereaved | Oregon Funeral Resources & Education

Includes:
  • How to care for the dying, the deceased, and the bereaved during a pandemic
  • Providing emotional support for grief and trauma
  • Advance directives completion now
  • What to do when a funeral isn't possible
  • FAQs about home care and Covid-19

To Read: Condolences in the Time of COVID-19

Condolences in the Time of COVID-19: Guidance for Conveying Your Love and Support by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | The Center for Loss and Life Transition (Apr 29, 2020)

"When someone dies—of COVID-19 or any cause—during this pandemic, their loved ones are being left to grieve in especially harrowing circumstances. They may not have been able to be by the dying person’s side in the hospital or long-term care facility. They may have been prevented from spending time with the body, which we know helps mourners say hello on the path to goodbye. And due to social distancing mandates, they have probably been unable to gather with friends and family to provide each other essential mutual support.

For these and other reasons, it’s a terrible time for loss. It’s a terrible time to be grieving."