Death Filter
  1. I Did My Hair in Case Matt Damon Showed Up to My Lumpectomy

    “I looked pretty, I thought, pretty enough for surgery and possibly Matt Damon.” Sara Dorner, a mother of two, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Here, she reflects on her diagnosis with a bit of humor.

  2. Moved by Kim

    “Through his tears, he asked if they’d let him use heroin there.” Seth Davis Branitz on his brother’s drug addiction and death, and burying his entire immediate family within two months.

  3. December 16

    “What do you say to a man who is dying?” The mundanity of the weather forecast butts up against the profundity of a man’s final moments in this spare but evocative poem.

  4. Writing as Momentary Witness

    Lynn Casteel Harper writes of the “darkly luminous and the luminously dark” after the sudden death of her local pastry chef: “I ate a dead man’s tiramisu this past summer. I did not plan such a macabre act; one rarely does.”

    Photo by Daniel Cortes (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  5. The library of lost conversation

    Mathew Lyons reflects on emptying the house of his deceased parents: “Death ends our dialogues with the dead, but the conversations want to go on . . . to be in an empty house lined with shelves is to be in a library of lost conversations with them.”

  6. California

    Amanda Fletcher on her mother’s suicide: “I will never be free of her dying. Even here in Los Angeles — two, ten, fifteen years later and three-thousand miles apart — I am still on my knees in the closet with the door pulled closed, clutching a piece of yellow lined paper.”

    Photo by NFarmer CC-BY SA 2.0
  7. We Laughed, We Cried, We Felt: The Posts We Loved in 2016

    Curl up with some tea and a comfy blanket, and revisit our favorite reads.

  8. You’ll Never Be Lovelier Than You Are Right Now

    Cody Delistraty sheds his defenses: “But the fact that defense is principally a psychological strategy means that if you are being outsmarted, you cannot succeed.”

    Photo by Ryan Hyde
  9. On Rubbernecking

    When you’re compelled to look and you can’t unsee: Karalynn Moran on car wrecks and rubbernecking.

    Photo by Michael Dorausch
  10. Leonard Cohen Has Left Us

    Tom Hawking on the death of Leonard Cohen: “It is one of life’s great ironies that wisdom comes only with experience, and it reaches its apogee just as we are deprived of the chance to use it. But Leonard Cohen, at least, has set his learnings down in words, and song.”

    Photo via Flavorwire
  11. Book Mark: Notes on Friends’ Grief

    After the children of three different friends commit suicide, Jan Wilberg reflects on the role of friendship in facing grief: “Not to presume, not to intrude, but not to forget either, not to go on as if nothing happened.”

  12. And full stop.

    Aleya Kassam remembers her granny: “I watched you struggle. I watched the battle as your soul navigated its way out of your body. How for days you sank into the space between two worlds.”

  13. “So, while the lobby of the cancer center is probably one of the most depressing places on the planet, it’s also one that gives me an odd sense of comfort.”

  14. A Woof is My Word For Love

    A family’s eternal love for their first pet: “Every tiny, beautiful memory of ours is a fort that protects him. Every time we talk about him, we give that fort a fresh coat of paint. Every time we utter his name, the fort’s doors open and the black boy comes running out, with his long tongue out.”

  15. Still Life

    Georgina Blanchard recalls the stillbirth of her son, Charlie Showman: “It had never occurred to me that my baby would be anything but healthy.”

    Photo by sindykids CCBY SA 2.0