72 posts tagged with grief.
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Grief and empathy

"In the past several weeks I, like countless other New Yorkers and Americans, have found solace in the epic acts of heroism displayed by the firefighters, police officers, and rescue workers who have risked their lives to save "others. My aunt's neighbors displayed a quieter, more quotidian heroism in her final weeks, setting up a cooking schedule so that a fresh dinner would always be delivered, taking turns watching the kids, and even lending my uncle a new coffee pot when his broke." -- Chris Hayes, in an unpublished article from the fall of 2001.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 11, 2016 - 9 comments

Five years after the tsunami, a husband still searches the sea

"Takamatsu went out with [the] regular dive customers -- the ones who dove for fun. They had no idea Takamatsu was searching for a body." [SLNYT] [warning: some graphic details re body decomposition]
posted by trillian on Aug 30, 2016 - 12 comments

Love, Loss, and Kimchi

" I’d create true fusion one mouthful at a time, using chopsticks to eat strips of T-bone and codfish eggs drenched in sesame oil, all in one bite. I liked my baked potatoes with fermented chili paste, my dried cuttlefish with mayonnaise."

Michelle Zauner writes on how Korean food helped her connect with her mother after her death, winning Glamour's 11th essay contest.
posted by FirstMateKate on Aug 8, 2016 - 9 comments

Sharing is part of mourning

Something*Positive creator R. K. Milholland reflects on learning about the death of his readers.
posted by divabat on Aug 4, 2016 - 8 comments

I'm Just A Person

A couple of days later, I stood in front of a mirror and slowly unbuttoned my shirt. When I looked down, what I saw turned out to be just a flat chest with fresh scars on their way to looking healed. My stitches had dissolved. I took my shirt off and stared at myself, thinking, “Lake was right, I can do this.” - Tig Notaro on luck, love, family, friends, fame, stand up, her new book, and life after breasts
posted by nadawi on Jun 11, 2016 - 11 comments

A cat-shaped hole in your life.

The appropriate weight of grief. Author Michael Zadoorian on the loss of a beloved cat.
posted by bitmage on May 15, 2016 - 54 comments

Grief Magic

What do ruined people do? Weird shit. This seems to be the consensus of psychoanalysts as far back as Freud and Jung; the traumatized self creates, out of necessity, a system of self-care that is keen to avoid repeat trauma. This makes change difficult; it makes people who’ve had part of their psyches destroyed by unmanageable emotions push people and emotions away, create obstacles, generate unnecessary drama. [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Mar 8, 2016 - 13 comments

"No more I hear thee purr and purr as in the frolic days that were"

Cat Funerals in the Victorian Era: "During the early 19th century, it was not uncommon for the mortal remains of a beloved pet cat to be buried in the family garden. By the Victorian era, however, the formality of cat funerals had increased substantially. Bereaved pet owners commissioned undertakers to build elaborate cat caskets. Clergymen performed cat burial services. And stone masons chiseled cat names on cat headstones." Ends with a lovely elegy for Peter, aged 12, by poet Clinton Scollard. [more inside]
posted by fraula on Jan 24, 2016 - 8 comments

The Grief Police

The rise of grief policing. The notion that there is but one way to grieve, and that deviation from that way is wrong. Grief policing was on display recently, during the aftermath of David Bowie’s death. Camilla Long, the film critic for The Sunday Times, witnessed the outpouring of emotion posted online as people learned, and tried to make sense, of Bowie’s passing. She did not like the way they mourned. Their grieving, she suggested—or, well, “grieving”—was self-indulgent, and, like so much else on social media, purely performative. “Bowie Blubberers,” she called the grievers. [more inside]
posted by narancia on Jan 21, 2016 - 108 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

"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

what happens when a parent's grief goes viral?

"While people have long used online outlets to grieve loved ones and public figures, the intense, intimate mourning rituals for kids like Ryan are something else entirely. And while these rituals create a much-needed space for mourning in a culture that treats grief like it's contagious, not everyone wants their child subjected to such celebrity. But once begun, it's hard to stop."
posted by divined by radio on Sep 17, 2015 - 40 comments

Frankenstein’s Mother

"Since I was a little girl I’ve been afraid of monsters. I’d put garlic on my window ledge to ward off vampires and sage in the corners to protect me from zombies. Even as a young adult I lay on my ratty futon surrounded by library books terrified someone or something would break into my apartment. After my daughter was born, my fear escalated. I’d check the front door several times a day to make sure the deadbolt was secure and the chain latched. At night I lay in the dark, my mind sending out waves of panic."
posted by ellieBOA on Aug 24, 2015 - 7 comments

"Today is the second anniversary of Steve’s death."

I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Aug 19, 2015 - 45 comments


Dispatches from Trauma Island. An essay by author Katie Coyle regarding the loss of her daughter, who was stillborn in May.
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2015 - 11 comments

...an impossible task.

The New Normal: Pieces of Grief, by Stephanie Wittels Wachs, sister of Parks and Recreation's co-executive producer Harris Wittels, who passed away in February.
posted by zarq on Jun 13, 2015 - 19 comments

"Bruce Jenner isn’t gone. I should know."

"A trans story is a ghost story. A trans story is an integration story about learning to love your ghosts." By Thomas Page McBee.
posted by MartinWisse on May 2, 2015 - 3 comments

miscarriage invisibility

a lost possibility: women on miscarriage (an open discussion on a topic that nobody talks about) [more inside]
posted by flex on Feb 18, 2015 - 51 comments

Here's what one mom wants you to know

"Each year around Mother’s Day I go to the historic cemetery where Phoenix is buried to wash and weed his grave. Then I go to an older part of the cemetery where children were buried so long ago that their families are no longer alive to tend their graves. I hope that someday, years from now, when I am gone, maybe another mom will do that for Phoenix." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 13, 2015 - 23 comments

All the feels.

A long-form essay from The Toast (of which you may have read) about life and grieving and gentleness and joy and ... look, just read it: No Matter How Your Heart Is Grieving: Disney for the Sad
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 26, 2014 - 26 comments

This Kid Just Died [VIDEO]

"Grief porn enters the Facebook era" "And, like regular pornography, the internet has transformed it. Freed from the already relaxed constraints of tabloid journalism, grief porn is no longer obligated to fake newsworthiness or importance. You don't need to die in a particularly tragic way; your death doesn't need to be the occasion for punishment or law-enactment. You just need to have produced consumable, shareable content before your untimely death. Rather than a news angle allowing a writer to smuggle grief porn into a paper, a grief-porn angle allows a content creator to smuggle a shareable unit onto Facebook." An interesting essay by Kelly Conaboy, ironically on Gawker.
posted by HuronBob on Nov 23, 2014 - 65 comments

Fake deaths, cheap resurrections, and dealing with real grief

William Hughes writes movingly about the death of his partner and how it has changed how he reacts to the portrayal of death and resurrection in media.
posted by Cannon Fodder on Oct 20, 2014 - 15 comments

"A Complicated Grief"

A Catholic woman grapples with the death of her sister's newborn baby. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Sep 15, 2014 - 18 comments

Life and Death

On July 2, 2014, Hannah Richell's husband Matt was killed in a surfing accident at Bronte beach. [more inside]
posted by chris88 on Aug 6, 2014 - 16 comments

support, salvation, transformation, life

Recently I overheard a man say at a yoga class, "Yeah, well, you get two women together and it's like bitch central." I could have told him he only needed one, in fact, and that would be me, but it also made me realize how much people diminish and poo-poo the real power and strength of female friendship, especially between women, which is either supposed to descend into some kind of male lesbian love scene porn fantasy or be dismissed as meaningless or be re-written as a story of competition.

Here's the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, "bonus" relationships to the truly important ones. Women's friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children.
Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship, an essay by Emily Rapp (previously).
posted by divined by radio on Aug 5, 2014 - 53 comments

"And we're dancing with the dead / that are dancing in our head"

Bringing Wes home.
How Sound is a podcast on radio storytelling on Public Radio Exchange that focuses on the story behind the radio story, and this episode is called "Bringing Wes home". I'd recommend listening to it cold with no more information than that, but if you'd like to know a bit more, the episode description is below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 20, 2014 - 2 comments

"And what about those who don’t have a mother?"

On losing your mother.
posted by carrienation on May 11, 2014 - 69 comments

I don't know what a spangle is to this day and now I can't ask him

Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
posted by acb on Apr 13, 2014 - 5 comments

From working in an industry that fears death to one that embraces it

What do you get when your funeral director is a former women's magazine writer who describes herself as "a Kundalini-yoga-practicing Buddhist Presbyterian on the board of Brooklyn Heights Synagogue"? It's Amy Cunningham's blog The Inspired Funeral, chronicling trends, products, history, music and ideas related to all sorts of grieving traditions. (From this NYT article about boomers gravitating towards greener burials and funerals.) [more inside]
posted by Madamina on Mar 13, 2014 - 16 comments

Extra innings

"Why am I not constantly grieving?" The wonderful Roger Angell on love, loss, sex, death, time, and the view from age 94.
posted by Miko on Feb 17, 2014 - 31 comments

And this is my column this week.

A friend of mine died on the weekend. She was young and it was sudden. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on Jan 30, 2014 - 31 comments

Written In The Bones

Written in the Bones, a short, sad comic. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Jan 24, 2014 - 25 comments

'Builders' and 'Firefighters'

"The Art of Presence" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 21, 2014 - 7 comments

“That’s it. That’s my Dad.”

Jeremy Cowart photographed John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard/Smallville/Haves and Have Nots star), but didn't get exactly the experience he expected.
posted by nevercalm on Jan 17, 2014 - 58 comments

"Mourning" Chimpanzees

"After she passed, the chimps examined the body, inspecting Pansy’s mouth, pulling her arm and leaning their faces close to hers. Blossom sat by Pansy’s body through the night. And when she finally moved away to sleep in a different part of the enclosure, she did so fitfully, waking and repositioning herself dozens more times than was normal. For five days after Pansy’s death, none of the other chimps would sleep on the platform where she died."— "Want to Understand Mortality? Look to the Chimps", by Maggie Koerth-Baker in the NYT [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jun 25, 2013 - 17 comments

“Always build people up. Never tear people down. Be kind.”

'Loss is difficult at any time of life. It can be particularly difficult for teenagers, who are still navigating their way, sometimes clumsily, toward adulthood. They know they need help, but are sometimes reluctant to ask for it. And often, because of their youth, their loss may be the first death they have ever known.' For a year, a reporter from the Cincinnati Enquirer sat in on meetings of a grief group at Archbishop Moeller high school, for boys who had lost a parent... and learned The Rules of Grieving.
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2013 - 27 comments

Moral Injury

A New Theory of PTSD and Veterans: Moral Injury
But as clergy and good clinicians have listened to more stories like these, they have heard a new narrative, one that signals changes to the brain along with what in less spiritually challenged times might be called a shadow on the soul. It is the tale of disintegrating vets, but also of seemingly squared-away former soldiers and spit-shined generals shuttling between two worlds: ours, where thou shalt not kill is chiseled into everyday life, and another, where thou better kill, be killed, or suffer the shame of not trying. There is no more hellish commute.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on May 17, 2013 - 19 comments

"As the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

Two Sides of a Camera

What it feels like to be photographed in a moment of grief.
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston on Feb 2, 2013 - 57 comments

Grief, Pie and Healing

Beth Howard travelled 1,100 miles to Newtown, CT in her 24-foot-long camper, loaded with 240 apple pies, and she dished out pie to kids from Sandy Hook Elementary School, and grieving parents [more inside]
posted by j810c on Dec 20, 2012 - 76 comments

The Joy Machine

COLBERT: I suppose fear is like a drug. A little bit isn’t that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What’s evil is the purposeful distribution of fear. As Paul said when he was faced with the gom jabbar, “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”
PLAYBOY: Did you just make a Dune reference?
COLBERT: I did! [laughs] If you’re injecting fear into other people, then you’re trying to kill their minds. You’re trying to get them to stop thinking.
A thoughtful interview with Stephen Colbert in Playboy (NSFW ads)(Non-Playboy copy.)
posted by rewil on Nov 14, 2012 - 46 comments

That smile will come, sooner or later. But I promise you, it will come.

For Memorial Day weekend, at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Vice President Joe Biden talks about grief, and loss, and how "there will come a day, I promise you, and you parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."
posted by Guy Smiley on May 26, 2012 - 58 comments

Give and Take

Given or Taken – an ABC television documentary by the usually excellent 4 Corners looks at a period in the nation’s history when unwed mothers were forced, coerced or tricked into giving up their babies- often without holding or even seeing their newborn. Writer Kim Berry describes a little of what it was like to be relinquished by her teen mum.
posted by mattoxic on Mar 2, 2012 - 7 comments

She is gone

She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
posted by ColdChef on Feb 14, 2012 - 28 comments

"Nothing prepares you for this. Nothing is rehearsed or written down."

How a Man Can Grieve for a Deceased Friend -- from The Art of Manliness; an ongoing chronicle of masculinity in the 21st Century.
posted by schmod on Oct 21, 2011 - 95 comments

The Forgiveness Machine

"When the person you love kills himself time stops," she says at one point. "It just stops at that moment. Life becomes another code, a language that you don't understand." An interview with Karen Green, visual artist, and widow of David Foster Wallace. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey on Jun 24, 2011 - 56 comments

"I have a bad feeling about this."

The five stages of Star Wars fandom grief. [Slate.com]
posted by Fizz on May 16, 2011 - 156 comments

Photographic Immortality

The Burns Archive is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 26, 2011 - 15 comments

I was certain he'd never come home . . .

But that was [yesterday] is a flash game about learning to move forward.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Nov 17, 2010 - 50 comments

Grieving through photography

Sometimes thought to be a bizarre Victorian custom, photographing corpses has been and continues to be an important, if not recognized, occurrence in American life. [more inside]
posted by brambory on Jul 23, 2010 - 33 comments

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