loss

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.

http://esty.house.gov/

 It’s been a busy week in Washington.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about something more personal. 

  Experimental performance artist, composer and musician, Laurie Anderson’s new film, Heart of a Dog, will screen twice as part of FilmColumbia this weekend and will begin a run at Time and Space Limited in Hudson on November 6th.

The film is a meditation on life, perception, and stories. It talks about the loss of a much beloved pet and a less beloved parent. 

'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?

  When Sukey Forbes lost her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, to a rare genetic disorder, her life felt as if it were shattered forever. Descended from two distinguished New England families, Forbes was raised in a rarefied—if eccentric—life of privilege. Yet, Forbes’s family history is also rich with spiritual seekers, including her great-great-great-grandfather Ralph Waldo Emerson. On the family’s private island enclave off Cape Cod, apparitions have always been as common as the servants who once walked the back halls. But the “afterlife” took on new meaning once Forbes dipped into the world of clairvoyants to reconnect with Charlotte.

With a mission to help others by sharing her own story, Forbes chronicles a world of ghosts that reawakens us to a lost American spiritual tradition. The Angel in My Pocket tells a moving tale of one mother’s undying love for her child.

    

  Bruce Piasecki is a businessman and best-selling author, known for his book Doing More With Less. His latest is Missing Persons: A Life of Unexpected Influences. In the book, he ponders his life’s journey from an impoverished childhood to his success in business and the people who influenced him.

The book is a series of vignettes told in a third-person narrative that work through loss, passion, self-innovation as well as fear and dreams.

He will be at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York on Saturday night at 7PM.

      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.

  On December 14, 2012, Scarlett Lewis experienced something that no parent should ever have to endure: she lost her son Jesse in an act of unimaginable violence. The day started just like any other, but when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Scarlett’s life changed forever.

Following Jesse’s death, Scarlett went on an unexpected journey, inspired by a simple three-word message he had scrawled on their kitchen chalkboard shortly before he died: Norurting Helin Love (Nurturing Healing Love). It was as if he knew just what his family would need in order to go on after this horrible tragedy.

**As mentioned in the interview posted here, J.T. Lewis' website is newtownhelpsrwanda.org.**

    After the loss of his wife in a tragic accident, artist Danny Gregory chronicled his grief in the medium he knows best—the pages of his illustrated journals. His new book, A Kiss Before You Go: An Illustrated Memoir of Love and Loss, reproduces these journal pages in a visual memoir of Gregory's journey towards recovery.

Gregory's process reminds us that creative expression offers its own therapy, and that living each day to its fullest may be as simple as putting pen to paper. Anyone who has experienced loss will take solace in this candid look at grieving.

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