Tag Archives: dying

Painting an ICU

Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, England, United Kingdom   Claude Monet’s Japanese Bridge and Water Lilies from 1899. Princeton University Art Museum. Wikipedia. “[Monet was] only an eye – yet what an eye.” — Paul Cézanne Much has been written about Claude Monet’s ophthalmic pathology.1-4 However, attributing his stylistic development to cataracts alone seems an overly […]

Rural home visit 1973

Paul Rousseau Charleston, South Carolina, United States   The road frozen and snowflakes fluttering, I travel to a distant farmhouse—the sick in bed on her side, hair in sweat-wet crescents and vomitus on the sheets, the husband wailing, “She’s dying, she’s dying,” and a dog and three toddlers lapping milk from the linoleum—and as I […]

Goals of care

Leah Grant  Portland, Oregon   Photo by Jake Thacker on Unsplash It was the beginning of my intern year and I felt like an impostor. Facing new responsibilities in both the hospital and clinic, I was aware of my lack of experience when patients asked for my medical opinion. But as I began to see […]

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, United States   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 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, United States   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 […]