Stories We Love

We don’t endorse every point of view in these stories but respect them and offer them up in the spirit of reclaiming death as a rich, challenging, rewarding, exhausting, heartbreaking, heart-filling, integral part of our human journey.

Stories

Everything You Wanted to Know About Death

Do We Need “Closure”?

In Nancy Berns’s presentation, “Beyond Closure: The Space Between Joy and Grief,” she asks the question, “When bad things happen, do we need closure?” Berns says no.

A Matter of Death and Life

The Harley School in Rochester, N.Y., wanted students to excel in their academics — but also in life. That’s why the private school offered a class called “hospice.”

Inviting Death Back into Polite Society

In the average North American home, what we now call the living room was once referred to as the “parlour”—a place where, before the 1930s, it was not uncommon to place the dead body of a family member for viewing and mourning.

A Child Shows Us How to Mourn

Kate Braestrup shares the story of Nina, a five-year-old who insisted to her parents that she needed to visit her dead cousin and best friend Andy, a four-year-old, at a nearby funeral parlor.

End of Life Doula

“There is nothing on Earth – nothing inevitable, anyway – that we are prepared for less than death, and I just don’t understand why that is. Where is our guidance for this? This thing that every single one us will have to face?”

New Burial Grounds

Considering what happens to our bodies and the bodies of our loved ones after death is a new thing for many of us.

Casket or Crematorium?

Los Angeles-based mortician, Caitlin Doughty, self-described death-acceptance advocate, and creator of The Order of the Good Death walks us through the two main options available for dealing with dead bodies in North America.

8 Ways to Be There

Teacher, writer and coach, Heather Plett found herself in the role of student when her mom was dying and her family brought her home to do so.

Tell Him It’s OK to Go

When we’re facing the most challenging moments that life has to offer, when we’re feeling most broken, it’s amazing what shows up.

20-Somethings Think About Death, Too

Given her willingness to talk about any topic, it’s perhaps no surprise that writer and TV star Lena Dunham experiences more flashes of what she calls “mortality awareness” than the average 20-something. But thoughts of death are not reserved for the aged.

When Death Is Not Separate

The way of death in North America is not the way in other cultures. Anthropologist Kelli Swazey asks, “What would life be like if the dead literally lived alongside you?”

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