Posts Tagged: death

Paging Clyde Bruckman

You may be a totally normal person, and therefore not sit around worrying about how you are going to die. But, as a super, super-pale person who spent one stupid summer in high school blissfully baking herself in a tanning bed at her gym while they piped in Train's "Drops of Jupiter," I have, for whatever reason, become convinced I'm going to get skin cancer.

My dad, who likes to be weird and mysterious, has been claiming for years that "the means of his death have been made known to him" (idk, in a dream, or something?), so he's not concerned about it at all, and my mom is terrified [...]


Bones, Ghosts, and Paul Koudounaris

A Q&A with author, photographer, and ossuary expert Paul Koudounaris. I understand your great grandfather was a grave robber?

My family is Greek and they lived in Alexandria back when it was a Greek town. At that point there was a trade in mummy dust, which they called mummia, which was thought to be a cure all. Louis XIV actually used to carry mummia in a pouch and snort little bits of it. The problem was that by the late 19th century they didn’t have a bunch of old Egyptian mummies to dig up anymore. Instead, when criminals were executed, people would steal their bodies and take them to the [...]


New Romance: A Practicum for the Living

If you're looking to suss a fling from a partner, a fantastic early date is hitting up a cemetery to visit your dead mother. Because it’s not like they’re meeting at Thanksgiving, and it moves along a subconscious effort to both sabotage a new romantic relationship and forcibly resolve an old family one. That's my outlook on intimacy, anyway.

It was three months after my mother died of complications from a 20-year struggle with multiple sclerosis. She hadn't walked, or spoken coherently, in years. It ended badly in May. Come August, I found myself in — among the frayed nerves, fear of death, unresolved grief and anger — a relationship. And somewhere [...]


The Wolf at the Door

PLAYBOY: It’s been almost four decades since it happened. Does the grief dissipate?

COLBERT: No. It’s not as keen. Well, it’s not as present, how about that? It’s just as keen but not as present. But it will always accept the invitation. Grief will always accept the invitation to appear. It’s got plenty of time for you.

PLAYBOY: “I’ll be here.”

COLBERT: That’s right. “I’ll be here when you need me.” The interesting thing about grief, I think, is that it is its own size. It is not the size of you. It is its own size. And grief comes to you. You know what I mean? I’ve always liked [...]


Mourning Jewelry Curator Sarah Nehama on Death and Keepsakes

Jeweler Sarah Nehama co-curated the mourning jewelry exhibition that's currently on display at the Massachusetts Historical Society, with the MHS's Anne Bentley (it's free, go!), and put together the accompanying book, In Death Lamented: The Tradition of Anglo-American Mourning Jewelry (it's $35 and filled with beautiful photographs of old jewelry, and old paintings, and old documents, and … deep breaths, deep breaths). I emailed Sarah to ask if she'd be up for answering some questions about it, which she was kind enough to do.

Sarah! The show looks great. Do you wear any mourning jewelry regularly?

I often wear items from my collection. Some only rarely if [...]


Or, "A Reason to Finally Buy That Miele"

I hate to be alarmist — just ask my husband ("What does your wife hate to be?" "Well, alarmist, cold, scared or late.") — but it seems your couch has figured out another way to kill you: by releasing carcinogenic flame retardent particles into your house. Don't bother Googling "what year PBDE invented?" or "began using PBDE in furniture?" because you won't find what you're looking for. Supposedly vacuuming will help, but that sounds like a lot of work and also not true, right?


11 a.m. vs. 6 p.m.?

Early to rise, early to … die, possibly, whenever that may be.



"The report on nearly three million people found that those whose B.M.I. ranked them as overweight had less risk of dying than people of normal weight." —Science abstract reporting cures the problem of death for all time.


Nefertiti the Spidernaut, Feburary – December 2012

"It is with sadness that the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History announces the death of Nefertiti, the 'Spidernaut.' 'Neffi' was introduced to the public Thursday, Nov. 29, after traveling in space on a 100-day, 42-million-mile expedition en route to and aboard the International Space Station." (Previously: "My 100 Days in Space.")


A Tidy Death


First, I’m OK.  I do not have cancer. For now. At least not where they did the ultrasound, CT scan and biopsy.

I’m writing this because I don’t want to forget the promises I made to myself when looking squarely at death.

As my friend, Dar, said, “It’s important to come face to face with mortality once in a while.” I thought, really? Seriously? No, thank you. Though, we all do. It seems to cluster for me. A friend gets sick, a parent dies, there’s a medical scare or a medical unbearable truth.

This spring, I had two close friends lose a parent the same month my [...]