Tag Archives: death

Books: Catalysts for health care change

Sherrie Dulworth New York, New York, United States   “Book Tunnel.” Petr Kratochvil. Public Domain Some books are enlightening, others are influential, but precious few are transformative. Those rare books are catalysts for change that help propel society into a collective “ah ha” awakening. Think of Silent Spring,1 The Jungle,2 or The Feminine Mystique3 and their respective […]

Avulsions

Torree McGowan Culver, Oregon, United States   The Chasm between the Then and The Now. Photo by the author, taken near Denali National Park. There are moments in life that serve as a dividing line. These instants sharply incise our worlds into before and after, the then and the now. Moments shimmer like a crystalline […]

Edvard Munch: the child who never grew up

Michael Yafi Houston, Texas   Figure 1: The Dead Mother The paintings of Edvard Munch are often used as an example of the association between creativity and mental illness. Can we, however, analyze them from the perspective of the feelings of a child? Traumatized by the death of his mother when he was only five […]

La Pieta

Rachel Fleishman Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   La Pieta, 1498-1499, Michelangelo, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. Wikipedia A mother holds her dead child. His body flops open without resistance, freshly dead. His head is cocked back, shoulder lifted, arms release the last vestige of grip. Her face sullen, her hand beside him open and offering, […]

The public death of Prince Albert

Death in modern times tends to be a private affair, whether in hospital, hospice, or in the home. But in the past no such privacy was accorded to royalty, as shown in this painting of the last moments of Albert, the beloved Prince Consort of Queen Victoria. The Prince died in 1861 after a brief […]

Death and new-doctor eyes

Katrina Genuis Vancouver, Canada   With slim cuts to her wrists, she came into the emergency room and said she wanted to die. “This is clearly a cry for attention,” others said. “Send the new doctor to stitch her up.” I sat by her bed with a 30-gauge lidocaine-filled needle and 4.0 nylon sutures, and […]

Dance with death

Marianne Rogoff Kentfield, California, USA   “All that is important is this one moment in movement. Make the moment important,vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused.” ― Martha Graham Stephanie lived alone in a rented cottage at the back of a garden path. When she was dying at age fifty […]

Surrealist art and the resolution of absurd

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   Epigram “There must be a clear preoccupation with death—intimations of mortality . . . Tragic art, romantic art, etc., deals with the knowledge of death.” Mark Rothko, 1958, The Pratt Institute, on the function of art   The Problem Fear of death permeates medical practice despite our best efforts […]

Unfinished business: end of life care and regrets in the films of Akira Kurosawa

X.M. Griffiths Tuckahoe, NY, USA   Director Akira Kurosawa (center) with actors Takashi and Miki Odagiri on the set of Ikiru (1952). Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. Death and mortality were recurrent themes in Akira Kurosawa’s works but the director examined the issues most acutely in the films Ikiru (1952) and […]

Defining dead

Arya Shah Rochester, MN, USA   Park Point Trail The checklist of death was foreign to me when I first ran down its list. It’s hard to describe that encounter with death, but let’s see if I can convey the gist. It started on a bright summer morning. A boy woke up for a day […]