1004 posts tagged with death.
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death cafes: tea, cake, and a discussion about mortality

In 2000, shortly after the death of his first wife (anthropologist Yvonne Presswerk), Swiss sociologist Bernard Crettaz set up a series of cafés mortels, or death cafes--informal gatherings where ordinary people could talk openly about death and dying. Crettaz inspired Jon Underwood and his mother, Sue Barsky Reid, to begin hosting death cafes in the UK ; eventually they put together a guide [pdf] for those wanting to host their own. Death cafes have now been held in 35 countries. They are not meant to be grief or bereavement support groups; instead, Underwood says, their purpose is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives." [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl on May 16, 2016 - 6 comments

New York's Mass Graves

"Over a million people are buried in the city’s potter’s field on Hart Island. A New York Times investigation uncovers some of their stories and the failings of the system that put them there." (SL NYTimes)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 15, 2016 - 19 comments

“So I embarked on another round of testing.”

How Chris McCandless Died: An update to ‘Into the Wild’ by Jon Krakauer [Medium] The debate over what killed Chris McCandless, and the related question of whether he is worthy of admiration, has been smoldering and occasionally flaring for more than two decades now. Shortly after the first edition of Into the Wild was published in January 1996, University of Alaska chemists Edward Treadwell and Thomas Clausen shot down my theory that the cause of McCandless’s death was a toxic alkaloid contained in the seeds of the Eskimo potato plant, Hedysarum alpine, also known as wild potato. When Treadwell and Clausen completed chemical analyses of the Eskimo potato seeds I’d sent them, they found no trace of any poisonous compounds. “I tore that plant apart,” Dr. Clausen explained to Men’s Journal in 2007. “There were no toxins. No alkaloids. I’d eat it myself.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on May 12, 2016 - 83 comments

It's harder for us nonbelievers

An Illustrated Talk With Maurice Sendak
When Christoph Niemann stumbled on a 'Fresh Air' interview with Maurice Sendak, wild things started to transpire. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on May 6, 2016 - 3 comments

How many U.S. deaths result from medical error?

"A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third-leading cause of death in the United States." - ProPublica [more inside]
posted by trillian on May 6, 2016 - 47 comments

Revolutions in the Grave

Many of history’s darkest figures were denied a formal burial place primarily to prevent their graves from becoming pilgrimage sites...... Such figures’ literal corporeal remains hold a persistent grip on our collective anxiety, their memories firmly planted in heritage discourses even as we attempt to efface their human remains from the landscape.
Paul Mullins, a historical archaeologist who has previously looked at humanizing Nazi everyday life, Eva Braun's underwear, the repugnant heritage of slavery, and selfies at Auschwitz, turns his attention to Dark Heritage and the Burial of Abhorrent Bodies.
posted by Rumple on May 6, 2016 - 7 comments

It's never too early to start thinking about your own death

It is never too early to start thinking about your own death and the deaths of those you love. I don't mean thinking about death in obsessive loops, fretting that your husband has been crushed in a horrific car accident, or that your plane will catch fire and plummet from the sky. But rational interaction, that ends with you realizing that you will survive the worst, whatever the worst may be. Accepting death doesn't mean that you won't be devastated when someone you love dies. It means you will be able to focus on your grief, unburdened by bigger existential questions like "Why do people die?" and "Why is this happening to me?" Death isn't happening to you. Death is happening to us all.
It's never too early to start thinking about your own death
posted by y2karl on May 4, 2016 - 47 comments

"The rest of this ride is mine to take. By myself..."

Nagpur Junction: A Short Tragicomic [via mefi projects]
posted by Theta States on Apr 28, 2016 - 12 comments

Doris Roberts RIP

Doris Roberts, an ubiquitous stage and screen actor from the United States, passed away April 17th at the age of 90. [more inside]
posted by under_petticoat_rule on Apr 22, 2016 - 36 comments

Everybody dies

Pieter Hintjens is an author and programmer best known as the founder of the ZeroMQ project. He was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. A Protocol for Dying is his latest and final blog post in which he reflects on how to interact with the terminally ill.
posted by Rhomboid on Apr 22, 2016 - 20 comments

A Ghost in the Freezer

A moving little essay about the power of food, family, and memory.
posted by katie on Apr 21, 2016 - 14 comments

Living is complicated

Last Men Standing. The stories of eight men who aren't supposed to be here. Diagnosed with HIV in the 1980's, when that was a death sentence, they are now living lives they never expected to have. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 20, 2016 - 8 comments

"I DIDN'T LIVE AS A HUMAN"

AP: South Korea covered up mass abuse, killings of 'vagrants'. [no graphic pictures but deeply unpleasant]
Choi was one of thousands — the homeless, the drunk, but mostly children and the disabled — rounded up off the streets ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which the ruling dictators saw as international validation of South Korea's arrival as a modern country. ... The owner of Brothers, Park, received two state medals for social welfare achievements and sat on a government advisory panel. His version of his story even inspired a 1985 television drama about a man's heroic devotion to caring for what were called "bottom-life people."
posted by grobstein on Apr 20, 2016 - 16 comments

the most important and costly conversation America is not having

"In celebration of National Health Care Decisions Day, Death Over Dinner and The Conversation Project are teaming up once again to challenge Americans to fill their table with comfort food, family, and friends — to break bread and taboos by taking part in a nationwide dinner party... Send an invite to loved ones, and then set the table to start talking about end-of-life care and how we want to live the final days of our lives." [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets on Apr 19, 2016 - 24 comments

Freeze or you're a goner

Why Cryonics makes sense [SMLWbW (Single Massive Link Wait but Why)]
posted by Baldons on Mar 24, 2016 - 118 comments

RIP, Joe Garagiola

Baseball may indeed be a funny game, but it just got a little less so. The major league catcher turned longtime NBC broadcaster passed away yesterday at the age of 90.
posted by non canadian guy on Mar 24, 2016 - 27 comments

Why do lesbians and bi women always die?

Ylva’s Steffi Achilles posted a piece asking that television stop killing our queer heriones and Autostraddle took the opportunity to enumerate All 90 Dead Lesbian and Bisexual Characters On TV, And How They Died. [more inside]
posted by bile and syntax on Mar 12, 2016 - 78 comments

There is an app for everything. Including death.

Death apps promise to help people curate their afterlives From The Guardian: Death apps promise to help a person organize his or her entire online life into a bundle of digital living wills, funeral plans, multimedia memorial portfolios and digital estate arrangements. It could be the mother of all personal media accounts, designed to store all of a person’s online passwords in one spot, for a successor to retrieve after he or she dies.
posted by pjsky on Mar 8, 2016 - 17 comments

RIP Pat Conroy

Best-selling author Pat Conroy has died at the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by The Gooch on Mar 5, 2016 - 28 comments

Not 'remembered,' I don't care about being remembered.

We are the killers. We stink of death. We carry it with us. It sticks to us like frost. We cannot tear it away. [...]
The Aztecs in the shock of the conquest, of utter destruction, tried to regain their speech, and they tried to describe simple things. A cave. A cave is a place of darkness. It is full of fear. It is dark, yes, very dark. And fear looms there. And do we dare to enter? Because the cave is big and it is dark.
A 70-minute conversation with Werner Herzog, loosely structured by one of his favorite books, J. A. Baker's The Peregrine. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Feb 18, 2016 - 3 comments

The Odds of Dying

Everyone dies of something, but after slogging through the daily news, you'd think most people die from terrorism, shark attacks and gas explosions. But are these tragedies — not to mention deaths from lightning strikes, plane crashes and tsunamis — actually top killers in the United States?
posted by veedubya on Feb 10, 2016 - 47 comments

I Want to Believe

Edgar Mitchell, NASA astronaut, Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot, and outspoken alien visitation believer, has died at age 85. [more inside]
posted by 1367 on Feb 5, 2016 - 44 comments

Vincent "Buddy" Cianci: 1941 - 2016

Controvertial former mayor of Providence and convicted felon Vincent "Buddy" Cianci is dead at 74
posted by Slap*Happy on Jan 28, 2016 - 54 comments

Boston students bury those with no one to witness

NPR covers Boston-area students who attend the funerals of those with no one to witness. In a time when a lot of our interactions are fueled by fear or blunted by avoidance of perceived risk, it can be hard to reach out to those with nothing. Students in their senior year at the Roxbury Latin school attend the funerals -- and act as pallbearers -- for those who have no one. A local funeral home, Lawler and Crosby, handles the other details. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Jan 27, 2016 - 35 comments

A Mortician Challenges Our Obsession With Looking Young

I pulled the zipper down, revealing a body like I had never seen. She appeared as if emerging from the primordial goo at the beginning of time. It was Mother Earth, severely decomposed and glorious.
posted by katie on Jan 25, 2016 - 29 comments

Alan Rickman 1946 - 2016

Actor Alan Rickman, active in theater and film for 30 years and known for roles such as Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter, has died at age 69 from cancer.
posted by divabat on Jan 14, 2016 - 436 comments

The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck

"He was a schemer who used the courts for profit and revenge. He was a paranoid, angry meth addict who had been arrested for battery and domestic violence seven times. He had been involuntarily committed, by his family’s count. And yet, in its report on Phoebe’s death, the Florida Department of Children and Families concluded, “There was nothing in the preceding several years that could have reasonably been interpreted as predictive of such an event.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 8, 2016 - 13 comments

we exist and then we don't, that's just how we do

🎶the singularity won't save you, there's not a thing that you can do, and you and me and us we're all gonna dieeeeeeeeeeeeee! 🎶(SLYT)
posted by divabat on Dec 22, 2015 - 39 comments

"...thou shalt not be a bystander" ― Yehuda Bauer

Hollywood's Last Survivors [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 17, 2015 - 3 comments

"There's the Jamaican bobsled team, so TAKE THAT, stereotypes!"

Black Folk Don’t...” is an open conversation that invites everyone to take a second look at the grey areas between us all, no matter the race, and most importantly to do it with a sense of humor. This documentary web series is a special presentation of BlackPublicMedia.org, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Did you know that black folk don't… [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 17, 2015 - 14 comments

On grief and the pain it brings

"And then he utters the words. The words that are responsible for nothing less than emotional, spiritual and psychological violence: Everything happens for a reason. That this was something that had to happen in order for her to grow. That's the kind of bullshit that destroys lives. And it is categorically untrue. "
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 15, 2015 - 205 comments

Necrokitty Comic Sans

When the pet crematorium sends her poems purporting to be from her dead cat, Hannah Chutzpah responds in poetry. (And are you sure this is from her? / Only I think her scansion would be better)
posted by Jeanne on Dec 13, 2015 - 18 comments

To retain the final human dignity of control over one's death.

Dr. Peter Rasmussen: retired oncologist, hospice physician and advocate for Oregon's Death with Dignity law, was given a terminal brain cancer diagnosis in Spring 2014. The Oregon Statesman Journal followed Dr. Rasmussen's end-of-life journey in articles, photos and videos, as he grappled with the same issues he once fought for on behalf of his own patients. Harper's Magazine: When I Die. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2015 - 5 comments

Thirty-five years ago, during the Dolphins vs Patriots MNF game,

Howard breaks the news --The behind-the scene debate about how to present the matter.
Following the game, Ted Koppel did a special Nightline report.(slyt)
The following night, ABC devoted a special edition to Lennon.(slyt) [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp on Dec 8, 2015 - 40 comments

How I became afraid

So long as I was smoking, I would never reach the point where there would be nothing more to be done. Emmett Rensin on the peculiar self-management of anxiety.
posted by Zarkonnen on Nov 30, 2015 - 15 comments

"Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination."

Palliative care practitioner BJ Miller on redesigning our relationship with death. BJ Miller and the Zen Hospice Project previously.
posted by lumensimus on Nov 10, 2015 - 9 comments

Everything I know about a good death I learned from my cat

Over these last two years, I've come to suspect that my cat has gotten better, more comprehensive planning around her eventual death than most people do.
posted by dersins on Nov 10, 2015 - 40 comments

"with the door locked; because of the morals of the maids’’

Sex, Death and Mushrooms
posted by telstar on Nov 8, 2015 - 24 comments

“It’s clearly possible and highly probable..”

Chile admits Pablo Neruda might have been murdered by Pinochet regime. [The Guardian]
The interior ministry released a statement on Thursday amid press reports that Neruda might not have died of cancer as previously believed. The statement acknowledged a ministry document dated March of this year, which was published by the newspaper El Pais in Spain. “It’s clearly possible and highly probable that a third party” was responsible for Neruda’s death, the document said.
[more inside] posted by Fizz on Nov 7, 2015 - 22 comments

Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans could exceed AIDS toll

Rising deaths among white middle-aged Americans could exceed AIDS toll in US A sharp rise in death rates among white middle-aged Americans has claimed nearly as many lives in the past 15 years as the spread of Aids in the US, researchers have said. The alarming trend, overlooked until now, has hit less-educated 45- to 54-year-olds the hardest, with no other groups in the US as affected and no similar declines seen in other rich countries. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 2, 2015 - 129 comments

I am named after the daughter my father lost

"What's in a Necronym?" by Jeannie Vanasco: "Whether the knowledge affected van Gogh—that he shared both his name and birthday with a dead sibling—remains unknown, the guide said. 'Does anyone have any questions?' he asked. My mind filled with loud, hurried thoughts and just as suddenly emptied, like a flock of birds scattering from a field." [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 31, 2015 - 27 comments

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The deadly legacy of HIV truthers [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 26, 2015 - 72 comments

“Bette Davis was right—bitches are fun to play.”

Maureen O'Hara, Irish-born star of The Quiet Man and more, dies aged 95. [The Guardian] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 24, 2015 - 39 comments

“It is a black day for Sweden,”

Sweden school attack: horror as sword attacker kills teacher and pupil. [The Guardian] [Article contains graphic descriptions of violence.] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 22, 2015 - 51 comments

This Is A Story About Loss

A woman who suddenly lost her best friend in a car crash shops at a store filled with unclaimed airport luggage. "When I first looked at [The Unclaimed Baggage Center]'s website months ago, I felt that same twinge of, 'It's a store full of lost stuff? That sucks.' I figured I would write a quirky piece about a kooky store, to compensate for the inherent sadness. But my world changed this summer, and now I'm here in Alabama, and the idea of losing stuff on an airplane feels decidedly less heavy."
posted by Amberlyza on Oct 21, 2015 - 7 comments

Contemplating a future from a prison cell

"From a certain angle, the premise seems almost cruel: invite prisoners on death row to design their own memorials — ways for them to be remembered after they’ve been executed. This means asking them to confront not just their own mortality, but the state’s hand in ensuring it; to imagine not only the reality of their deaths, but a time beyond it. Yet, if Life After Death and Elsewhere suggests anything, it’s that this process may offer a release. These men are already thinking about death, after all — two paintings that feature the grim reaper assure us of that. Now at least they have somewhere to channel their thoughts."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 19, 2015 - 5 comments

What happens when someone dies alone

The Lonely Death of George Bell (slnyt) Incredibly well-researched, in-depth article on all the people affected by the death of a random man late last year, from the city workers charged with disposing of him and his things, to the people who knew him. Surprisingly moving, it is full of small uplifting moments.
posted by maggiemaggie on Oct 17, 2015 - 51 comments

We found love in a Hopeless Pass

@sadtopographies: An Instagram account cataloging the most unfortunately named places on Earth, from Shades of Death Road in New Jersey to Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya (or "Where the devil urinates") Hill in Australia and everywhere in between.
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 9, 2015 - 12 comments

The birds that fear death

A study published in the journal Animal Behavior found that crows can recognize their fellow dead crows and learn to avoid the dangerous circumstances associated with death. The BBC described the study, which involved a "masked individual playing bad cop, arriving on the scene holding up a dead crow." [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Oct 2, 2015 - 38 comments

At one with nature

Zootaxa article: A new species of death adder (Acanthophis: Serpentes: Elapidae) from north-western Australia. Guardian: These snakes are super-camouflaged - its idea is to look like a rock or a bunch of leaves. Unlike a brown snake they aren’t designed for speed at all, they are quite slow. They use their tail like a lure, they will dangle it down while it’s hidden until a lizard or something comes close and then it will strike. Telegraph: The new species adds to the impressive list of poisonous creatures in Australia, which is believed to have 20 of the world's 25 most deadly snakes, including the entire top ten. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 28, 2015 - 37 comments

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