Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper's Beautiful Conversation about Grief | YouTube (8/17/19)
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.
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
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."
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.'"
"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."
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."
- 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."
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."
"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.
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Facts about funerals in the age of Coronavirus with Caitlin Doughty (The Order of the Good Death, Ask a Mortician).
"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."
- 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