Life and Death, Tragedy and Grief in the time of COVID-19
Grief can be an isolating experience, but as the world adapts to life in a pandemic, we are forced to redesign how we grieve as communities in isolation. And when a community is unable to physically come together in tragedy, they find ways to be together, apart.
Five classic movies for coping with fear and anxiety brought on by the coronavirus. Go ahead and cry, laugh, release. Read the full article here>> Tags grief, Grief Culture, Therapy,
Living In the In-Between
In this time of the corona virus and the death of our former life, we may face terrible realities, but we also face amazing possibilities.
In the Realm of Death & Dreaming
An Update on the WYD Documentary Project
Who are we? Does consciousness continue after death? The more I looked into dying, the more intriguing it became, and I realized we are just not talking about these things.
— Johanna J. Lunn
The When You Die Documentary
Johanna Lunn is the creator of WhenYouDie.org and the producer/director of the upcoming documentary feature film In the Realm of Death and Dreaming. I sat down with her at the Illuminate Film Festival in Sedona.
All the Things
No matter how organized a person, there are still things to be handled after someone dies. Items accumulated in a lifetime have to go somewhere, and family members left behind are given the task of cleaning and clearing out the home of someone they’ve lost.
Fear of Dying Alone
In facing a world pandemic we face our greatest fears: dying alone. Psychologists say that there are two separate concerns. First there is the fear that people we love will
That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief
“We are not used to this kind of collective grief in the air.”
Brushes With the Afterlife
The Science of Near Death Experiences
We Are All Cheating Death
In her new book, Edwidge Danticat contemplates close encounters with death.
When the loss of a loved one is fresh, and our grief is great, we need to know it’s okay. Grief is the cousin of love. And so, one perfectly valid coping mechanism for the holiday season is to say, “Not this year. I need to be with my heart.”
Coming Through the Fog: Coping With the Trauma of Loss
Unable to think, concentrate or remember things is not uncommon after the death of a loved one. It is all part of what has been called “widow’s fog.”
Tips for Holiday Sadness
Everyone has been touched by loss in one way or another. And, of course, the holidays tend to bring out our sadness. Remembering loved ones who have passed, or just not feeling the holiday spirit—these two articles might help!
The Dumb Supper: Dining with the Dead
In 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, nineteen people were executed for practicing the “devil’s work,” or, in other words, being witches. Fourteen were women, five were men. In 2019, at the end of October, also in Salem, Massachusetts, modern day witches celebrate the Festival of the Dead.
Día de los Muertos
The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is sometimes confused with Halloween. Although both are around the same time of year and do have similarities, they are
Good Ground Great Beyond
Angela Lutzenberger, founder of the Maine non-profit, Good Ground Great Beyond, speaks about her vision for creating alternative, after death care options, including open air cremation, for the people of Maine.
Dying to Watch: Binge-worthy Series
Over the years many TV shows have dealt with death. From a family of funeral directors to a man in deep anger in his grief, these series have actually created a conversation about death and dying, sometimes comedic, sometimes touching and sometimes painfully realistic. When You Die team member, Kelley Edwards, picks and shares her favourite binge-worthy series. (Caution, there may be some spoilers ahead.)
A Dying Mother’s Letter to Her Daughters
If you were dying, what would you want your children to know? The story of Julie Yip-Williams is one of overcoming obstacles. But the obstacle over which none of us
Reflections on Dying
When it comes to death and dying, we have many questions. The BBC has a selection of videos called Reflections on Dying that address topics such as what it’s like
Death of a Loved One: The Year of Firsts
This winter, my very close friend lost her mom. She and her siblings were very close to their mother and so the loss of her mother was significant. I knew the feeling of losing a parent. Going through the death of a parent is a difficult process, but I also knew that it wasn’t over.
What Happens As Death Approaches: The Nuts & Bolts
By understanding the physical and emotional stages of dying we begin to reclaim death and dying as a normal part of life.
Life in Death
Janie Brown is the Executive Director of the Callanish Society, a nonprofit organization she co-founded for people who are “irrevocably changed by cancer, and who want to heal, whether it
Public Loss, Private Grief
Prince Harry was only 12 when his mother Diana was killed in a car crash. Young Harry struggled to come to terms with his loss, which was a very public
In the Footsteps of Grief
Jennifer was 41 when she was killed by a motorcycle while crossing the street. She left behind a loving husband and two young boys. Her husband, Tim, in his grief,
Can Children Handle Death?
We want to protect our children, but if we don’t talk to them about death, are we hurting instead of helping?
Death, Virtual Grief and Your Digital Footprint
There is no discrimination in the digital world. When a person dies, their virtual selves can remain, existing in the same online space used daily by millions of people.
Saying Goodbye to Our Pets
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France
Legacy Giving: You Can’t Take It With You
Your life, your legacy, and how you can help even after you’re gone.
Death & Ecology: What exactly is a green burial?
Exploring an alternative to traditional burial.
Death and Food
From sin eaters to sharing food that is symbolic of the circle of life, eating together after a loss is a communal grief practice throughout time and culture.
When You Die Sits Down with Dr. Jessica Zitter
This doctor wants to keep you off the ‘end of life conveyor belt’ where, she warns, most wind up.
Why Everyone Needs an Advanced Directive (And Where to Get Yours)
Advance Directives save families a lot of strife when planning end-of-life care — here’s your guide to choosing the right one.
End Well Symposium 2018: Here’s What You Missed
From doctors to actors to AI and VR researchers, the End Well Symposium brings together an eclectic group with one concern: doing death right.
What Happens When You Die in Winter: Icy Green Burial
Green burial is affordable and eco-friendly—but what happens when you die in winter? Here are 5 ways to conduct a green burial in the cold.
Día de Los Muertos As Told By Instagram
They say this time of year is when the veil between the two worlds is thinnest. Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos celebrates this special time by honoring ancestors and lost loved
When You Die Sits Down with Death Salon Director, Megan Rosenbloom
The director of the worlds top #DeathPositive gathering is demanding a death revolution.
‘In the Realm of Death and Dreaming’ Producer/Director Johanna Lunn on the 2019 Documentary
Johanna Lunn is the creator of WhenYouDie.org and the producer/director of the upcoming documentary feature film In the Realm of Death and Dreaming. I sat down with her at the Illuminate Film
Five Ways Your Pet Has More Rights in Death Than You Do
Pets face all kinds of legal restrictions in life, but once they cross the rainbow bridge their bodies are freer than our own. Here are five ways your pet has
Welcome to the Templo Santa Muerte Where Death is Queen
Templo Santa Muerte in Los Angeles. Standing inside the Templo Santa Muerte in Los Angeles feels palpably scary and, admittedly, a little unnerving. The imagery strikes a darker chord than
Twilight: A Fantasy Photo Diary of Death
Photographer Urszula Kluz-Knopek transformed the paralyzing fear of her parent’s death into a transcendent photography exhibit starring them. Here’s what Urszula had to say about ‘Twilight’. WYD: Where did the
Death Doula Jill Schock on ‘The Perfect Death’
Each body has its own way of shutting down due to illness or injury. In a natural death, your breathing will simply slow until it stops. That is out of our control. Eventually all of our bodies will wear down to nothing more than ashes and dust. But American culture struggles with accepting mortality. We don’t like to age; we don’t like ugly. Unfortunately, neither idealizing nor ignoring death will make it go away.
Of Death, Humor & Chickens
Somewhere along the line, I developed this theory that all jokes are simply little brushes with death. Man walks down the street whistling, slips on a banana peel and falls. He’s strolling along, ‘I wonder where you get a good sandwich around here’ and smack! He finds himself face to face with his mortality; bruising tailbone, and ego, alike.
What Happens After Death? What Netflix ‘Afterlife Sci-Fi Dramas’ Got Right
Fans of the Netflix sci-fi thrillers The OA and The Discovery, both of which weave tales of scientists researching the afterlife, may be shocked to know it’s not just the stuff of fiction. While the haunting plotlines are (thankfully) fantasy, their themes echo real clinical research into what happens to consciousness at the moment of death.
At the Bedside: What’s It Like?
In the Victorian era, birth and death happened at home, so people knew more or less what to expect. But that’s not true for us! And because we don’t talk much about death and dying we are left with whispered stories, scenes from movies, and random bits that cross social media.
What Happens to Your Mind When You Die: Where Do We Go?
While many of us have heard of that phenomenon (and ones like it) referred to as a “near-death experience,” Parnia prefers to call it an “after-death experience.”
Have You Met BJ Miller?
We don’t want to diminish how much palliative care physician BJ Miller‘s TED Talk, “Not Whether But How,” will move you and get you thinking, but we can’t resist
Living on a Timeline
We all wonder what we’ll do, how we’ll react, if (or when) we receive news of our own or a loved one’s terminal diagnosis—and how we’ll go on living when we have that information.
Teaching Doctors to Say When
Why do so many doctors feel that giving more treatment is the only way they can express their care and commitment?
Plan for Death As Though It’s a Birth
Sheila Kitzinger was a “champion of women’s rights in childbirth.” She spent her career pioneering birth plans that secured choice and autonomous control for women giving birth.
Love with the End in Sight
There’s nothing comfortable about considering that the people we love most in the world are eventually going to die. The alternative, though—ignoring that it will, indeed, happen one day—can leave us in a much less workable spot.
How to Say Good-Bye
What does it mean to offer words of candour, reassurance and love when we’re communicating with those who are facing the end of their lives?
Before I Die, I Want to ___________
When Joan, a close friend to New Orleans designer Candy Chang died, the artist and urban planner was moved to invent and create the “Before I Die” wall on the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood, using chalkboards and chalk.
Examining Life, Looking Straight at Death
WNYC Radio’s program Radiolab recently presented an episode all about mortality—it’s thought-provoking and embedded with fascinating questions, starting with “Do we have to die?” and ending with “How do we deal with dying?”
Lessons from Hospice
What Comes Next and How to Like It is a memoir by Abigail Thomas that’s not particularly about death or dying. But it is, without a doubt, about the inscrutable and unpredictable things that life delivers up to us, including plenty of change and not an insignificant amount of loss—something Thomas knows a thing or two about.
How Learning About Death Changed My Life
Tracy Picha, When You Die’s associate producer in 2015 and ’16, has had a few changes in her life since learning, considering, wondering about mortality. Far from a macabre pursuit, it’s rekindled friendships and fine-tuned notions of what a good life means.
A Record in Photographs
“We are scared of death and I think that is in large part because we hide it away, out of sight and avoid it until we have to,” says Nancy
In the Aftermath of Tragedy
Death frequently comes without warning. But when tragedy strikes, there is a certain suddenness and violence that can have overwhelming effects on us, our families, and our society.
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.
Breast Implants: You Can’t Take ‘Em With You
Caitlin Doughty, founder of the organization The Order of the Good Death lets us in on just what happens to pacemakers, titanium hips and other implants after we die.
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.”