death

  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.”

  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.

  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.

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.

  Experts in end-of-life care tell us that we should talk about death and dying with relatives and friends, but how do we get such conversations off the ground in a society that historically has avoided the topic?

In Let's Talk About Death: Asking the Questions that Profoundly Change the Way We Live and Die, Steve Gordon and Irene Kacandes share the results of a no-holds-barred discussion they conducted for several years over email.

 As a young medical student, Dr. David Casarett was inspired by the story of a two-year-old girl named Michelle Funk. Michelle fell into a creek and was underwater for over an hour. When she was found she wasn’t breathing, and her pupils were fixed and dilated. That drowning should have been fatal. But after three hours of persistent work, a team of doctors and nurses was able to bring her back. It was a miracle.

If Michelle could come back after three hours of being dead, what about twelve hours? Or twenty-four? What would it take to revive someone who had been frozen for one thousand years? And what does blurring the line between “life” and “death” mean for society? In Shocked, Casarett chronicles his exploration of the cutting edge of resuscitation and reveals just how far science has come.

'Love Letters To The Dead' By Ava Dellaira

Sep 30, 2015

Ava Dellaira's debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead tugs at our heart strings at all the right moments, as we read Laurel’s thoughts about her sister’s sudden death, and experience her struggle to find out who she is without her sister’s very big, and loving presence. It’s novel of loss, but it’s also a novel of secrets, the kind that need to be shared, so Laurel can move on.


  In an exploration of the afterlife that is part personal, part prescriptive, Claire Bidwell Smith invites us on her journey into the unknown.

She wonders: How do we grieve our loved ones without proof that they live on? Will we ever see them again? Can they see us now, even though they are gone?

The Saratoga County Sheriff's Office says 49-year-old Thomas Ferrara was admitted to the jail on Wednesday afternoon. He was found unresponsive less than four hours later.

  In November of 2007, Bard College Professor Joseph Luzzi’s wife, Katherine, who was 8 1/2 months pregnant, was in a fatal car accident. Their daughter, Isabel, was born by C-section, just 45 minutes before her mother died on the operating table.

Suddenly a widower and a single father to an infant, Luzzi saw life turned upside down by this new unexpected reality, one of intense grief and loneliness.

  Here is what happens at a Death Cafe - people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session.

To tell us more about Death Cafes in our region – we welcome: Barbara Sarah - Founder of the Circle of Friends for the Dying which has sponsored 21 Death Cafes in Ulster County and Laurie Schwartz, a Founder of Circle of Friends for the Dying.

They've been having monthly Death Cafe gatherings in Ulster County since August, 2013 and will be hosting one at the Rosendale Café in Rosendale on Sunday, May 31st.

      Where do you go and who do you talk to when someone you love dies if it feels like no one around you is willing to or able to be there for you in the way you may need? The website, Modern Loss, exists as a guide to living with grief. Contributors share their diverse tragedies and the site's founders have aggregated lists of resources beyond their personal ability to help. Here we speak with Rebecca Soffer about her experience and her reasons for founding the site with Gabrielle Birkner.

  

  Gail Sheehy, the author of Passages, a book that changed millions of lives, now lays bare her own life passages in a memoir that reveals her harrowing and ultimately triumphant path from groundbreaking 1960s "girl" journalist to bestselling author who made a career of excavating cultural taboos - from sex, menopause, and midlife crisis to illness, caregiving, and death.

    

  In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. Amidst the glare of international public interest, the governor, along with his daughter Mary, Michael’s twin, set off on a futile search, only to return empty handed and empty hearted. What followed were Mary’s 27-year repression of her grief and an unconscious denial of her twin’s death, which haunted her relationships and controlled her life.

In her frank and moving memoir, When Grief Calls Forth the Healing: A Memoir of Losing a Twin, Mary Rockefeller Morgan struggles to claim an individual identity, which enables her to face Michael’s death and the huge loss it engendered. In the book, she shares her healing journey and her story of moving forward into a life of new beginnings and meaning, especially in her work with others who have lost a twin.

   Michael Hainey was 6 years old in 1970 when his Uncle came to their home one morning, to tell Michael and his brother that their father was dead. Bob Hainey was just 35. He was the night editor at the Chicago Sun-Times. Bob Hainey had died of a heart attack on a North Side street - as one of the obits put it - while visiting friends.

Over the years, Michael Hainey grew up to be a journalist himself - he's now the deputy editor of GQ - and began to wonder about some of the small differences in the obits between newspapers, and about some of the obliqueness in the accounts of his father's death that he grew up hearing from his uncle and mother.

So, he set out to find the story himself. His new book is After Visiting Friends: A Son's Story.

    Katy Butler was living thousands of miles from her vigorous and self-reliant parents when the call came: a crippling stroke had left her proud seventy-nine-year-old father unable to fasten a belt or complete a sentence. Tragedy at first drew the family closer: her mother devoted herself to caregiving, and Butler joined the twenty-four million Americans helping shepherd parents through their final declines.

In Knocking on Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, award-winning journalist Katy Butler ponders her parents’ desires for “Good Deaths” and the forces within medicine that stood in the way.

  Scott Taylor Smith, a venture capitalist and lawyer, had plentiful resources, and yet after his mother died, he made a series of agonizing and costly mistakes in squaring away her affairs. He could find countless books that dealt with caring for the dying and the emotional fallout of death, but very few that dealt with the logistics.In the aftermath of his mother’s death, Smith decided to write the book he wished he’d had.

Helen Keller famously wrote that "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  She continued: "To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."

The death of a Berkshire County man who died in a canoe accident on the Housatonic River is being ruled an accident.

The Berkshire County District’s attorney’s office has called the death of 21-year-old Rupert Norris Vonbockbrader of Alford a “tragic accident.”

    It has been said that in the long run, we are all dead.

But for some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office.

Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy—which they drank.

From Mozart to Hitler, Rest in Pieces is a book that connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses, and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward death. Bess Lovejoy is a writer, researcher, and editor based in Seattle.

Rabbi Dan Ornstein - To Speak the Truth, or not?

Feb 14, 2013

At a recent writing workshop I attended, I read a short, painful piece about the illness and death of a high school friend to my fellow writers.   For some time since writing the piece, I have been struggling with the wisdom of attempting to publish it because some of my friend’s family members are still alive, and much of what I wrote might be quite distressing to them if they saw it in print.  The group told me to stop worrying about this, specifically because they felt that the essay honors her memory, and that the main goal of personal essay and memoir is honest self- expression.  Still

New York Times Obituaries Editors, William McDonald, is back again with a new collection of obituaries for the colorful figures who have died this year. Here's your chance to get a glimpse into the lives of the provocative and powerful, the saintly and the scandalous. Did you know Steve Jobs had a long-lost sister? Or that Loretta Young and Clark Gable had a love child. Or that Stalin’s daughter, Lana Peters - the “little Princess of the Kremlin”—ended up in a cabin in northern Wisconsin?

The Vermont State Police say a Clarendon man is the state's first victim of bath salts.

An autopsy determined that the June 23 death of 28-year-old Christopher Tsacoyeanes was caused by an overdose of a variety of drugs commonly known as bath salts.

The office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined the death was accidental substance abuse.

Police say troopers investigating the death of Tsacoyeanes recovered a large amount of chemicals at his home.

Darlene Susco / Flickr.com

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra plans to meet with the city's acting police chief to discuss a weekend of violence in which 10 people were shot and two of them killed.

Police say a 16-year-old from Windsor and a 24-year-old Hartford man were found shot to death Saturday in separate incidents.

The Hartford Courant reports the teenager was found unresponsive in the driveway of a multifamily home on Thomaston Street at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday.

“Sad." ''Hard to understand." ''I'm shocked." ''I just can't imagine this."

Those were some of the stunned reactions from people who knew Junior Seau best. The former 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker was found dead at his Southern California home in what police are saying is an apparent suicide. Seau was 43.

Former Chargers GM Bobby Beathard said he never recalled Seau being "in a down frame of mind. He was always so upbeat and he would keep people up."

A county coroner in New York says a police captain, his wife and two daughters who died in a house fire this week were killed by smoke inhalation. WAMC’s Dave Lucas reports.

Putnam County Coroner William Stahl said Wednesday that the Larchmont police captain, Thomas Sullivan, and the others all died of asphyxiation from breathing smoke and carbon monoxide.

Stahl says that probably means the family died before being burned in the fire at their home early Tuesday in Carmel.