Tag Archives: death

Medicalization of death and dying: Room for growth in end-of-life care

Rose Parisi Albany, New York, United States   Artwork by Kristen Merola. In recent years, the way in which Americans cope with death and dying has evolved considerably and become institutionalized and over-medicalized. Whereas over time people have died in their homes, untethered to wires and machinery, modern medicine has turned people into patients and […]

Saying goodbye

Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   “A walk into life’s sunset.” Photo by author. Her head is bald, her face pale. Only a couple of weeks have passed since her latest cycle of chemotherapy, which imposed its ravages but offered no benefit. The disease is marching relentlessly ahead, the survival horizon drawing closer each day. She […]

O Child! My Child!

Alice Ranjan Redmond, Washington, USA   A woman personifying night carries two babies over the land, representing sleep and death. Etching by F. Bartolozzi, 1764, after Annibale Carracci. Wellcome Collection. Public domain. O Child! My Child! Enter did you, into this world, incarnadine and warm. But when I held you in my arms, you did […]

Farewell, dear pictures that I have loved so well

For nearly two decades Cardinal Jules Mazarin was the de facto ruler of France and the most powerful person in Europe. Born in Italy in 1602, he worked as a Papal diplomat but offered his services to Cardinal Richelieu and moved to Paris in 1640. When Richelieu died in 1642, he acted as the head […]

Please don’t die in the hospital

Alexandra DeFelice Falls Church, Virginia, United States   “Dead Flowers” by John Brighenti on Flickr. CC BY 2.0.   I don’t like the way people die in the hospital. I don’t like the color schemes, the paleness that seeps into every empty wall, every window shade, every floor tile; every cafeteria counter, every elevator sign, […]

The pyramids of Petach Tikvah

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah   Dead bodies may be burned, buried, left for carrion animals,1 dropped into the sea, mummified, made into fertilizer or diamonds,2 or sent to universities to be dissected. However, there are several reasons why in many cultures the dead are buried in cemeteries and mausoleums: Respecting the dead focuses survivors on […]

The grieving one: on the death of a spouse

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   “A real experience of death isolates one absolutely. The bereaved cannot communicate with the unbereaved.” – Iris Murdoch, An Accidental Man, 1971   ‘Alone’ holds the word ‘one.’ Photo by Javier Ocampo Zuluaga on Pixabay. After the death of a spouse, we are al(one). ____ One pillow […]

Villanelle

Jolene Won Chicago, Illinois, United States   Photo by Sandy Torchon on Pexels. I did not know today would be your last – we see no end for those that we hold dear. If I had known I’d not have let it pass. The nurse who knows she can’t set down her tasks continues on, […]

Revising my bargain with the deity

Barry Perlman New York, New York, United States   Photo by S. Tsuchiya on Unsplash. My parents lived into their nineties. Before they died, they endured years of dementia. Aware of my potential genetic inheritance, I have long harbored a deep dread of what my future might hold. If my curved pinky fingers were inherited […]

Vigil

Terri Erickson Pfafftown, North Carolina, United States Untitled painting by Stephen White. Used with permission.   In a care home in Göteborg, Sweden, my husband’s sister, Jensina, sits vigil at the bedside of their Aunt Astrid, who is dying. She holds her hand, speaks to her as if everything is as it was, the two […]