Tag Archives: dying

Emily, Usher, and American Gothic perspectives on mortality

Olga Reykhart Liam Butchart Stony Brook, New York, United States   1894-1895 Illustration by Aubrey Beardsley of the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe. Accessed via Wikimedia. In an editorial for Medical Humanities, Gillie Bolton notes that death is a common theme in literature and also in medicine. […]

Ushers of life

Genevieve Kupsky Washington, D.C. USA   Our obligation to our patients continues into the sunset of their lives. The sun sets on the cherry blossoms of Washington, D.C. in springtime. Photographer: Rami Halaseh “You are on holy ground. Time is sacred, and the veil is thin.” The chaplain left the newly-oriented volunteers with these words […]

Imagine

Daniel Becker  Charlottesville, Virginia, USA   Author and his doctor bag, en route to a home visit Up in the intensive care unit an elderly man with a subdural hematoma is dying. His wife has been at his side all night. They are from out of town and were on vacation when he slipped and […]

And a time to die

Katherine Arnup Ottawa, Canada   “You’re going to be an expert at this by the time you’re done with me,” my sister joked, shortly before her death from cancer at 51. “Maybe,” I protested, “but I don’t want to learn it from you.” Four years later, I began volunteering at a hospice near my home. […]

Crossing boundaries: visual representations of death and dying

Mary T. Shannon Portland, Oregon, USA   Introduction How do we as clinicians, caregivers, and fellow human beings talk about death and dying in our culture, or perhaps more precisely, how do we not talk about it? Many avoid the topic out of fear, denial, or discomfort, creating silent narratives that torment, isolate, and separate […]