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 /

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."