Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Articles. Show all posts

To Read: How to Prepare Your Digital Life for Your Death

How to Prepare Your Digital Life for Your Death by Eric Ravenscraft | PC Magazine (May 21, 2021)

Image: Shutterstock via PC Mag 

"Death is as somber as it is inevitable. But as we live more of our lives online, it's more important than ever to make sure loved ones can access digital accounts when we're gone. Don't be the guy who locked cryptocurrency exchange customers out of $250 million after his death because only he knew the password.

There are a number of ways loved ones can request access to your accounts once you're gone, but they don't need that stress. Several online services allow you to designate legacy contacts or grant access after a period of inactivity. Here's how to make sure those you leave behind can manage your affairs after you head to the great beyond."

To Read: 'To Me He's Not A Number': Families Reflect As U.S. Passes 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths

'To Me He's Not A Number': Families Reflect As U.S. Passes 500,000 COVID-19 Deaths by Melissa Block | MPR Morning Edition (February 22, 2021)

"How do we wrap our minds around the fact that more than half a million people have died of COVID-19 in the United States alone?

The nation just passed that milestone: 500,000 lives lost, in one year.

For the families of those who died of COVID-19, each successive milestone of this pandemic may seem irrelevant to their particular, punishing loss.

[. . . ]

"The larger the numbers are," he says, "the harder it is to feel the empathy anymore. And I don't know how we make that empathy personal again. ... Our brains are not good with big numbers."

"It just won't stop growing"

The sheer weight of those numbers can tend to dwarf the individual stories behind each person who died. What does it mean when you're just one of half a million?

To Read: A Pet's Death Can Hurt More Than Losing a Fellow Human

A Pet’s Death Can Hurt More Than Losing a Fellow Human by Dyani Sabin | Popular Science (5/1/18)

Social norms are wrecking your grief experience.

"I already imagine losing my puppy will be harder than burying my gerbils, but I also didn’t stare into my gerbils’ eyes quite as much. No matter the species, our bonds with our pets are unlike our other relationships. For one, Bussolari says, they’re entirely dependent on us. For another, Irvine says, “we idealize animals, especially dogs. We create them as these almost angelic characters, so we have this idea of unconditional love for us.” When they die, she explains, it almost seems like a violation of this mythos we’ve built around them."

To Read: Surprise, You're Going to Be a Caregiver

Surprise, You're Going to Be a Caregiver - Part One by Aisha Adkins | The Order of the Good Death (12/12/18)

"When you first find out you’re going to become a caregiver (or slide into that caregiving role without even realizing it), you’re probably going to experience a range of emotions. Fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, honor, pride, or complete and utter cluelessness. If your loved one’s diagnosis is terminal, you may experience symptoms of grief as well.

Whatever you feel in this moment is not wrong. It’s not about the emotions themselves, but your reactions to them. In a situation where you’re inclined to focus solely on the person you’re caring for, you have to be sure to check in with yourself first. It’s like that famous airplane analogy: in an emergency situation, you have to put oxygen on yourself first before you can help anyone else. Figuring out how you feel and what you need to be okay is fine. Caring about yourself isn’t selfish."

See also: Considerations for Caregivers in Marginalized Communities by Aisha Adkins.

To Read: Nurturing Hope in Difficult Times

Nurturing Hope in Difficult Times by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. | The Director: Center for Loss and Life Transition (5/21/20)

"Our culture usually isn’t so good at honoring loss and supporting others who are grieving, even though they are essential parts of our lives. 

Instead, to our detriment, we tend to focus almost exclusively on the happy and the distracting and the fun. It’s a question of balance. We need both, you see. We need to honor the light and the dark, the happy and the sad –and everything in between – because all of it belongs. All of it is authentic. And whatever is authentic is normal and necessary. "

To Read: Elizabeth Gilbert on Love, Loss, and How to Move Through Grief

Elizabeth Gilbert on Love, Loss, and How to Move Through Grief as Grief Moves Through You by Maria /Popova | Brain Pickings (10/17/18)

"How to move through this barely survivable experience is what author and altogether glorious human being Elizabeth Gilbert examines with uncommon insight and tenderness of heart in her conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson on the inaugural episode of the TED Interviews podcast.
'Grief… happens upon you, it’s bigger than you. There is a humility that you have to step into, where you surrender to being moved through the landscape of grief by grief itself. And it has its own timeframe, it has its own itinerary with you, it has its own power over you, and it will come when it comes. And when it comes, it’s a bow-down. It’s a carve-out. And it comes when it wants to, and it carves you out — it comes in the middle of the night, comes in the middle of the day, comes in the middle of a meeting, comes in the middle of a meal. It arrives — it’s this tremendously forceful arrival and it cannot be resisted without you suffering more… The posture that you take is you hit your knees in absolute humility and you let it rock you until it is done with you. And it will be done with you, eventually. And when it is done, it will leave. But to stiffen, to resist, and to fight it is to hurt yourself.'"

To Read: How Death Doulas Offer Emotional Support, Education During Final Stages of Life

How Death Doulas Offer Emotional Support, Education During Final Stages of Life By Lydia Christianson | Jordan Independent News (1/29/20)

"Death. It’s a taboo topic for many — some avoid the topic altogether. But there are those who confront it head on and help the rest of us do so, too.

They’re called death doulas. Similar to birth doulas, who work with families at the early stages of life, death doulas help at the end."


To Read: The Surprising Benefits of Contemplating Your Death

The Surprising Benefits of Contemplating Your Death By Sigal Samuel | Vox (August 12, 2020)

"Mortality might seem like a scary thing to contemplate — in fact, maybe you’re tempted to stop reading this right now — but that’s exactly why I’d say you should keep reading. Death is something we really don’t like to think or talk about, especially in the West. Yet our fear of mortality is what’s driving so much of our anxiety, especially during this pandemic.

Maybe it’s the prospect of your own mortality that scares you. Or maybe you’re like me, and thinking about the mortality of the people you love is really what’s hard to wrestle with.

Either way, I think now is actually a great time to face that fear, to get on intimate terms with it, so that we can learn how to reduce the suffering it brings into our lives."

To Read: 'I Was Completely Unprepared': Confronting My Sister's Death"

‘I Was Completely Unprepared’: Confronting My Sister’s Death By John Troyer | The Guardian (3/24/20)

"Despite my lived experience and academic credentials on human mortality, I was completely unprepared for Julie’s untimely death at the age of 43. I was not unprepared in that way many people are wholly unprepared for a person to die. There was an element of that emotion, but I was raised to understand that any person, especially the people we know and love, unexpectedly die all the time."


To Read: Death Positivity in the Face of Grief

Death Positivity in the Face of Grief By Megan Devine | The Order of the Good Death (1/18/18)

"There’s so much potential inside what we know as death positive people, but there is a chasm there, between the ways we talk about death in the abstract, and the ways we live inside actual death and grief.

We’ve got to start talking about grief in the face of deaths that are not beautiful."

"What we’re really doing, in both the death positive movement and its sister, the grief movement, is turning towards what feels scary and painful. We’re building skills, and gathering knowledge – not to avoid grief, but to withstand it. To able to companion each other, no matter what comes."


To Read: When COVID Upended Her Career Plans, A Local Mortician Stepped Forward To Help Families Deal With Death

When COVID Upended Her Career Plans, A Local Mortician Stepped Forward To Help Families Deal With Death By Andy Steiner | MinnPost (6/2/20)

"Woosley had grown increasingly disenchanted with the modern Western approach to death and dying, the idea that families needed to be separated from their deceased loved ones, that funerals must take place in impersonal chapels, that the terminally ill must spend their last months on earth fighting death rather than reflecting on their lives."

"She gave her notice at the university, earned end-of-life doula and funeral celebrant certifications, created a website and set out to build connections for her business. “My next step was going to be outreach to nursing homes and senior living facilities, to start forming connections with staff and residents,” she said.

Then everything changed."

To Read: Coronavirus and How It Has Changed the Way We Grieve

Coronavirus and How It Has Changed the Way We Grieve by Jen Laskey | Today.com (Apr 30, 2020)

"The coronavirus has really changed the way we grieve. Not only are the distancing measures we’re taking to prevent the spread of infection keeping us from being with our loved ones in their last moments, this pandemic has completely changed the way we mourn with others."

To Read: How Horror Helps with Processing Grief and Trauma

How Horror Helps with Processing Grief and Trauma By S.F. Whitaker | Bookriot (1/13/20)

"Studies have shown that horror can help us with grief, anxiety, depression, and a number of other disorders. For someone experiencing a deep loss or processing trauma, it becomes less about the deaths and more about the survivor. Grief studies in particular have found that trying to make someone feel better only makes the situation worse. You’re invalidating their feelings rather than helping. A book can take someone suffering on a journey. You feel the pain with the characters, some surviving while others do not, and there is a resolution of some kind. The final person can become a personal patron saint of healing."

To Read: Almost 90,000 Dead and No Hint of National Mourning

Almost 90,000 Dead and No Hint of National Mourning. Are These Deaths Not ‘Ours’? By Micki McElya | Washington Post (5/15/20) 

"In fact, there is a conspicuous absence of any collective mourning at all. The reason is as simple as it is terrible: We share no understanding of these staggering losses as ours, as belonging to all Americans, as national."

"Americans have a common set of expectations and rituals for responding to national losses, whether they’re from war, terrorism, school shootings, natural disasters or assassinations. ...The pandemic dead have received almost none of this, and the omission is significant — even if the dying is still just beginning. Shared grief brings people together like little else. In the absence of the common bonds of kinship, place, language, faith or heritage, national identity is forged in ritual and the sense of shared experience among strangers, the vast majority of whom will never know one another. It is made of feeling and remembering together. 

The English poet Laurie Lee put it this way in “Lying in State,” about the public memorializing of Winston Churchill at his death: 'Every resounding event seems to be followed by silence as history catches its breath. So it is this morning in this great bare hall — a silence like a fall of snow, holding the city and the world in a moment of profound reflection, reducing all men to a levelled pause.'"

To Read: 17 Best Books About Suicide for 2021

17 Best Books about Suicide for 2021 By Melissa Boudin, PsyD, Reviewed by Lynn Byars, MD, MPH, FACP | Choosing Therapy (2/11/21)

"Thinking about death is natural, but thoughts of suicide can overwhelm those struggling with depression or other mental health problems. Books about suicide, from novels to practical guides to personal stories, can help those struggling better understand this difficult subject."

This helpful and annotated list is divided into:
  • About the Science of Suicide
  • For Those Feeling alone
  • For Teenagers Dealing with a Suicide or Losing a Friend to Suicide
  • For Those Dealing with a Loss of a Loved One Due to Suicide
  • For Children Dealing with Suicide


To Read: Eight Things I Learned from Watching My Mum Die

Eight Things I Learned from Watching My Mum Die By Karen Schlaegel | Tiny Buddha 

"One of the things that struck me was that almost everyone has or will experience the death of a loved one. It had such a monumental impact on me, and I can only assume that it does for a lot of people, too, and so I would like to share my story.

Here are some of the lessons I learned, which arose from a very specific situation but which I feel are equally applicable to other challenging situations in life."

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 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 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."