Death Filter
  1. “Stuck in her mouth was a single blade of green grass, her last effort to stave off dehydration, hypothermia, starvation, as if by swallowing that blade she could puke up death itself, like a hairball, and be well again.”

    Animals
  2. “Your parents will . . . find a cemetery, one close by, so your Mom can visit you every day; pick out a nice four by eight foot plot, maybe beside a tree, and buy the only piece of real estate you will ever own.”

    Death
  3. One Phone Call Can Change Everything

    “A lot can change in the course of one phone call.” At Commode to Joy, Jamie Muscato writes about her father’s death, her strong bond with her brother Troy, and the call that changed everything seven years ago.

    Death
  4. The Uneasy Life of a Middle East Skeleton

    “So for those who knew, it must have been very strange that we have dead bones in our closet.” The Caspers are an American expat family in Cairo, Egypt. Jayson Casper tells the story of Max, the skeleton they’ve lived with, and explores a different view of death in Middle East culture.

    Culture
  5. cleaning the house, tending the weeds.

    On the accretion of stuff: “And so, without siblings in whose faces we might see our pasts, and without children who reflect back to us ourselves and our future, we cling to the representational, the inanimate, the stuff to which we attach memory and meaning.”

    Death
  6. Goodbye Piper

    Dementia took the mind of Bruce Jenkins’ mother, but it could not erase their shared love of words. “Take a book, and read to her just as she read to you.”

    Books
  7. A Very Awkward Breakup

    “My mind was spinning. Love with a Chance of Drowning was due to publish in three months time but the love itself was drowning.” Torre DeRoche had to promote her memoir at the same time she and her partner had split. At The Fearful Adventurer, she explains what happens.

    Authors
  8. On Birds, Bullets, and Being

    Kris reflects on women, aging, invisibility, and anger, after her 50-year-old neighbor was killed by police. “Otherwise, feel free to roam about the cabin, but the bar is closed. Put on the hideous red hat, proclaim the end to your sexual being, and commence to overeat. Conversely, you could always get a gun.”

    Death
  9. On Grief, Patton Oswalt’s Engagement, and “the Heart’s Expansion”

    In a powerful viral post, Erica Roman — who lost her husband in April 2016 — replies to Patton Oswalt’s online detractors after the comedian (and widower) announced his recent engagement.

    Commentary
  10. On Gifts

    Susan Briscoe on the gift she received the day of her diagnosis: “I have reclaimed that gift of acceptance. Living in a way that is true to me means accepting and fully embracing this experience so that I can do my best to transform it into something positive.”

    Death
  11. “Choose a windy day and stand at any spot out in the country. Then (this part is important) turn your back to the wind. Open the box and toss the ashes into the air. For the first time in my well-planned life, let the wind take me where it may.”

    Death
  12. The Changeling

    Lillian Ann Slugocki reflects on her brother’s death: “I bore witness, and believe me, this is infinitely more difficult because it’s acknowledging that you are helpless, and power greater than you is in control.”

    Death
    Photo by Gina Easley
  13. Motherless

    “I walk around like I have a lightning rod through me. I can’t sit because I feel like I should be doing something. I pace, and I’m short with the kids, and I picture my life without them all and I feel like my lungs will explode.” A fraught, bittersweet journey from foster to adoptive parent.

    Death
  14. Losing a Pet in an Autistic Household

    On how an Autistic son copes with loss: “At last, he asked how I felt. A grief inquisition ensued. As if he knew emotion collapses me inward, Tyoma tugged and pulled each word out of me, like an invasive, but beneficial medical procedure.”

    Autism
    By Tyoma
  15. 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.

    Death