death

To be alive is to be in perpetual metamorphosis: growing, healing, learning, aging. In "Shapeshifters," physician and writer Gavin Francis considers the inevitable changes all of our bodies undergo such as birth, puberty, and death, but also laughter, sleeping, and healing; and those that only some of our bodies will like getting a tattoo, experiencing psychosis, suffering anorexia, being pregnant, or undergoing a gender transition.

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Gil Santos, the New England Patriots' longtime radio voice, died Thursday on his 80th birthday and 57th wedding anniversary.

Best-Selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, after her own battle with cancer, is now against the preventative care that is supposed to prolong life and guarantee health. It may sound suicidal, but Ehrenreich claims most of the medical tests she is urged to take fall short of the “evidence based” standard she requires to go to the hospital and undergo unpleasant and intrusive procedures.

In her new book, "Natural Causes: An Epidemic Of Wellness, The Certainty Of Dying, And Our Illusion Of Control," Barbara Ehrenreich tackles the politics of women’s health care, watching average Americans become fierce advocates for pointless diets, unnecessary procedures and checkups, and an unhealthy amount of exercise without the full knowledge of how flimsy the science behind those practices really is. Is control over our bodies even possible?

The feminist icon & author of "Nickel and Dimed" holds a degree in cellular immunology and uses it to great effect as she topples the institutions & customs that guide our attempts at living long, healthy lives.

Kevin Toolis is a writer and BAFTA-winning filmmaker. The author of a celebrated chronicle of Ireland's Troubles, "Rebel Hearts: Journeys within the IRA's Soul," he has written for the New York Times Magazine and The Guardian and reported on conflicts around the world. His family has lived in the same village on an island off the coast of County Mayo for the last two hundred years.

In his new book, "My Father's Wake," he describes his own father's wake and explores the wider history and significance of this ancient and eternal Irish ritual.

Samuel Harrington, MD, an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Wisconsin Medical School, concentrated his clinical practice at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. There he served as a medical staff leader, a trustee, and as Sibley's representative to the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Board Committee. This work and his service on the board of trustees of a nonprofit hospice brought Dr. Harrington into the discussion of end-of-life medical care.

Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or overconfidence in our health-care system, results in the majority of elderly patients misguidedly dying in institutions. Many undergo painful procedures instead of having the better and more peaceful death they deserve.

Dr. Harrington's new book "At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life" outlines specific active and passive steps that older patients and their health-care proxies can take to ensure loved ones live their last days comfortably at home and/or in hospice when further aggressive care is inappropriate.

Sigrid Nunez’s new novel, “The Friend,” is a moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.

Nunez’s previous novels include “Salvation City,” “The Last of Her Kind” and “A Feather on the Breath of God.”

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? It is the question at the center of Chloe Benjamin’s new novel, “The Immortalists.”

Four siblings find out and keep the dates secret from one another, but their prophecies inform their next five decades.

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections “Pastoralia” and “Tenth of December,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” was released last year and won the Man Book Prize.

The book visits the cemetery where President Abraham and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s son, Willie, has just been entombed. The other characters are the less-recently dead who encourage the boy to cross over. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. 

The new book, “Modern Loss: Candid Conversation about Grief. Beginners Welcome,” is an examination into navigating grief and resilience in the age of social media, offering comfort and community for coping with the mess of loss through candid original essays from a variety of voices.

At a time when we mourn public figures and national tragedies with hashtags, where intimate posts about loss go viral and we receive automated birthday reminders for dead friends, it’s clear we are navigating new terrain without a road map.

Enter Rebecca Soffer and Gabrielle Birkner. Each having lost parents as young adults, they co-founded Modern Loss, responding to a need to change the dialogue around the messy experience of grief. They look to offer the insights of the Modern Loss community to help us cry, laugh, grieve, identify, and empathize.

Through his roles as a "Daily Show" Correspondent, Deranged Millionaire, the PC to Justin Long’s Mac, and his own bestselling books, the real John Hodgman has always remained hidden: a mystery wrapped beneath his signature dry, absurdist wit (and a moustache or beard, depending on the year).

But now -- for the first time -- he turns to the truth, exposing his real-life roles as a father, husband, and hater of fudge. He’s the first to admit that his path to success has been a strange one, and he’s the best person to explain why. 

His new book: "Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches," follows his journeys as a very citified only child nerd, navigating wildernesses where he does not belong. 

George Saunders is considered one of the great masters of the short-story. He’s now written his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo – a novel that comes from the real-life death of Willie Lincoln, the 11 year-old son of Abe and Mary Lincoln in 1862. 

Thomas Moore is the author of the bestselling book Care of the Soul and fifteen other books on deepening spirituality and cultivating soul in every aspect of life. He has been a monk, a musician, a university professor, and a psychotherapist, and today he lectures widely on holistic medicine, spirituality, psychotherapy, and the arts.

His new book is Ageless Soul. He'll be at The Odyssey Bookshop at 7 p.m. tonight and at The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT on November 10th. 

Dr. Atul Gawande helped transform the conversation about aging and death in his book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

He is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

A Democratic New York State Assemblyman from Queens has died.

Michael Simanowitz of the 27th District died Saturday of an illness.

The South Glens Falls Central School District says counseling services will be offered after the death of a teenage student.


  This Thursday at 4 p.m., The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts presents Women Writing Through Loss: Connecting Through Calamity featuring Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Rebecca Soffer, and Emily Rapp Black as they read from their work and discuss the power of connection as friends, as writers, as mothers, and as women who forged powerful friendships after experiencing great personal loss, and writing their way out of it.

 

Rebecca Soffer joined us to tell us more.

During the course of his life, Malachy McCourt practically invented the single's bar; was a pioneer in talk radio, a soap opera star, a best-selling author; a gold smuggler, a political activist, and a candidate for governor of the state of New York. 

It seems that the only two things he hasn't done are stick his head into a lion's mouth and die. Since he is allergic to cats, he decided to write about the great hereafter and answer the question on most minds: What's so great about it anyhow? 

Berkshire County Lawmakers Mourn Cariddi

Jun 19, 2017
malegislature.gov

Berkshire County is mourning the death of Gailanne Cariddi, a state representative from North Adams who died over the weekend at age 63. 

Late State Rep. Cariddi
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Gailanne Cariddi, a state representative from North Adams, has died.

In On My Own, beloved NPR radio host Diane Rehm speaks out about the long drawn-out death (from Parkinson’s) of her husband of fifty-four years, and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him.

With John gone, Diane was indeed “on her own,” coping with the inevitable practical issues and, more important, with the profoundly emotional ones. What to do, how to react, reaching out again into the world—struggling to create a new reality for herself while clinging to memories of the past. Her focus is on her own roller-coaster experiences, but she has also solicited the moving stories of such recently widowed friends as Roger Mudd and Susan Stamberg, which work to expose the reader to a remarkable range of reactions to the death of a spouse.

Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter is one of only a handful of physicians in the United States double board certified to practice both pulmonary/critical care medicine AND palliative care medicine. In other words, she’s the doctor who will save you when you are admitted to the ICU with a gunshot wound, but she is also the doctor who can help you navigate a peaceful and easy way to the end when the end really arrives.

In her new book - Extreme Measures – we learn about a framework for a better way to exit life that will change our medical culture at the deepest level, and will perhaps leave you pondering, when ‘the end is near’, in our zeal to save life, are we often just worsening death?

When Stéphane Gerson’s eight year old son, Owen, died in a rafting accident, he found himself in uncharted territory. In the weeks that followed, he started to write about life without his son. Eventually, those writings took shape as the new book, Disaster Falls: A Family Story. 

Listener Essay - Killing

Jan 13, 2017
Tom Reichner

Patricia A. Nugent is the author of The Live On: Saying Goodbye to Mom and Dad, a compilation of poems and vignettes about caregiving for and losing a loved one. She also write the play The Stone and the Ripple, about a modern day reunion of the founding suffragists. At her home on Great Sacandaga Lake, she is currently plugging away at her manuscript about her golden retriever’s spirituality.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Phone, cable and utility companies in New York may no longer charge early termination fees when service has been discontinued due to the death of a customer.

Two hikers in Albany County came across a dead body Friday.

Authorities say a 56-year-old hiker died Friday after falling 100 feet near the Kaaterskill Creek in Greene County. The incident happened near Route 23A near the Hunter-Catskill line.

  In The Violet Hour, Katie Roiphe takes an unexpected and liberating approach to the most unavoidable of subjects. 

She investigates the last days of six great thinkers, writers, and artists as they come to terms with the reality of approaching death, or what T. S. Eliot called “the evening hour that strives Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea.”

Katie Roiphe will be in conversation with Kate Bolick as part of The Mount's Touchstones series on 8/18.

  Death is something we all confront ― it touches our families, our homes, our hearts. And yet we have grown used to denying its existence, treating it as an enemy to be beaten back with medical advances.

We are living at a unique point in human history. People are living longer than ever, yet the longer we live, the more taboo and alien our mortality becomes. Yet we, and our loved ones, still remain mortal. People today still struggle with this fact, as we have done throughout our entire history. What led us to this point? What drove us to sanitize death and make it foreign and unfamiliar?

In Death's Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying Teaches Us About Life and Living, Brandy Schillace shows how talking about death, and the rituals associated with it, can help provide answers.

  In his new book, The Point Is: Making Sense of Birth, Death, and Everything in Between, Lee Eisenberg (bestselling author of The Number) dares to tackle nothing less than what it takes to find enduring meaning and purpose in life.

He explains how from a young age, each of us is compelled to take memories of events and relationships and shape them into a one-of-a-kind personal narrative. In addition to sharing his own memories, Eisenberg presents research culled from psychology and neuroscience, and draws on insights from a pantheon of thinkers and great writers-Tolstoy, Freud, Joseph Campbell, Virginia Woolf, among others -- as well as men and women of all ages who are wrestling with the demands of work and family, ever in search of fulfillment and satisfaction.

When Breath Becomes Air

Jan 13, 2016

  At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

We speak with Paul's wife, Lucy, about his book and his experience.

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