Death Filter
  1. “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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.

    Death
  7. 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.

    Death
  8. 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.”

    Death
    Photo by Daniel Cortes (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  9. 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.”

    Books
  10. 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.”

    Death
    Photo by NFarmer CC-BY SA 2.0
  11. 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.

    Academia
  12. 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.”

    Death
    Photo by Ryan Hyde
  13. On Rubbernecking

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

    Death
    Photo by Michael Dorausch
  14. 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.”

    Death
    Photo via Flavorwire
  15. 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.”

    Death