Talking about death — at any age — is a fantastic idea and a great way to break down fear and loathing.
Jazz funerals offer an intriguing look into another way of commemorating death and acknowledging community grief.
Our approach to death and dying is fundamentally, frustratingly broken. That’s why death doulas, with their capacity to change the way we relate to death, are so important to me.
Burial and cremation are old news: Find a more ecologically-friendly way to dispose of your carcass, and consider doing something nice for the planet while you’re at it.
When funeral homes began to rise in the early 20th century, they forever changed the nature of death in the United States. Now, the alternative death community is eager to force that change back, to empower people to make their own decisions about living and dying in a country where most deaths take place in […]
I recently finished reading Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which is an excellent read for those of you who are interested in a glimpse into the modern funeral industry, and into alternative approaches to death and dying. It’s not a polemic, nor is it a pat panacea, but rather an acknowledgement of the fact that death and […]
Life, in many ways, is ridiculously hilarious, and that doesn’t stop in death. Yes, that’s right — I am among the group of people who proudly put the ‘fun’ back in ‘funeral,’ acknowledging one of the most important and inevitable life events we will face with a more lighthearted spirit. There is nothing funny, of course, about […]
In death, it seems that people become saintly, with reputations for perfection that quickly calcify around them. In the hours and days following their last breaths, they’re turned into airbrushed, hyperreal yet also fictional versions of themselves in the workrooms of funeral homes, but also in the imagination. Instead of acknowledging people as they are, […]
Stella J. Young passed away last year, at 32. She was a remarkable woman: Fierce, amazing, sharp, hilariously funny, sometimes morbid, caustic, and brilliant. The news fluttered about her for a few days, and then subsided. Most of the eulogies and commentaries about her focused specifically on her impairment, osteogenesis imperfecta (‘really dodgy bones,’ in […]
A friend of mine died late last year. I’m not telling you this because I want your expressions of sympathy, but more as a statement of fact: She was alive, and now she is dead. She died because she had cancer and it metastasized and she chose to accept her death, spending her last few […]