Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts

To Watch: Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper on Grief

Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper's Beautiful Conversation about Grief | YouTube (8/17/19)

“You wrote me a letter after my mom died,” he reminded Colbert. “In it you said, ‘I hope you find peace in your grief.’ One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about is how we don’t really talk about grief and loss. People are not comfortable talking about it. . . . And you’ve spoken very publicly about what you experienced as a kid — a lot of it I didn’t know. I think a lot of people don’t know. So if you don’t mind, I wanted to talk to you a little about it and sort of how it has shaped who you are now.”

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 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 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 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 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: 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