Tag Archives: dying

Finding Immortality

How long do you want to live? It’s not that we can determine how many years we will be on this earth, not exactly. We do have something to do with it, though. Most obviously, we can take care of … Continue reading

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The Benefit of Almost Dying

Within the course of a couple days I had conversations with two people who had nearly died recently. Each of them was hospitalized in critical condition, and in each case family members were summoned because the patient was more likely … Continue reading

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Learning About Life From The Obituaries

Do you read the obituaries? Though I’m getting to the age where I probably should, I seldom do. Just as pedestrians tend to depend on others to look for traffic when crossing the road, I depend on my mom and … Continue reading

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Adaptation at the Movies

I recently wrote a reflection on Birdman, the Michael Keaton film about an actor who played a superhero in the ’90s and now is trying to resurrect his career by staging a play. I described the “Birdman” voice that only Riggan, … Continue reading

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Are Elderly Parents an Emotional Weight for Their Children?

I recently wrote about medical ethicist Ezekiel Emanuel’s Atlantic article explaining why he doesn’t want to live past age 75. I left off without having discussed one of his contentions, that living a long time can have a negative impact on … Continue reading

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Hoping to Die at 75?

The October, 2014 Atlantic considers the prospect of average lifespans reaching 100—I wrote about that possibility here. In the same issue there is an article by Ezekiel Emmanuel titled “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” Emanuel indicates that his … Continue reading

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A Middle-Aged Suicide

Andrew Solomon wrote recently about Robin Williams’ suicide. He mused about the unique features of this particular death: “In public appearances, he never showed the callous narcissism of many actors; his work relied on the interplay between riotous extroversion and nuanced … Continue reading

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Memento Mori

During Ash Wednesday services, the priest or minister makes a cross of ashes on the participant’s forehead and says, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” We begin the Lenten journey, in other words, by memento mori (Latin … Continue reading

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The Death of a Parent

In January, the New Yorker website had an excellent (though rather long) article by novelist Mark Slouka on the effect that his father’s death had on him. He describes himself now as “orphaned at fifty-five, nobody’s son, trying to plot … Continue reading

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Social Media Might Reduce Discomfort with Death

NPR host Scott Simon recently attracted considerable attention when he turned what many consider a private event into a public one.  As he sat with his mother while she was dying, Simon tweeted about her last days to his 1.3 … Continue reading

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