At Mother Jones, Julia Lurie reports on a rising trend: death by opioid withdrawal in jail. Read about how addict shame and silence, jail short-staffing, scant medical equipment, and a general apathy toward inmates make a deadly combination.
When you work the night shift for too long, the murders start to link up with one another, blending cause and effect in a centrifugal force that gnaws away at the city. The veteran reporters start to see this; the man gunned down one night is related to an ongoing gang dispute, which originates in […]
What they don’t tell you about death—or what you don’t really understand until it happens close to you—is how permanent it is. In the months afterward I kept thinking to myself, all right, I get it. This is too painful. Let’s just take a little break from the loss. Let’s have a weekend off. A […]
Nothing is set in stone, except of course your epitaph. In a recent essay for Aeon, Tom Pitock mused on the difficulty of writing his own father’s epitaph, and why we etch words on tombstones to remember people we loved. But not every culture uses epitaphs, as Pitock learned in Greenland: It took real effort to find the cemetery […]
Ironically, it was this desire to be close to the dead that ultimately helped usher bodies out of the home. Embalming—which advanced as a science around the same time as the Civil War—allowed for the corpses of men who had died on far-off battlefields to return home for some semblance of the Good Death. “Families […]
A few weeks later, my friend sends me a copy of Dunn’s poem “A Coldness.” The speaker says about his sick brother, “From then on he was delusional, / the cancer making him / stupid, insistently so, and lost. / I wanted him to die. / And I wished his wife / would say A […]
Alcor agreed to accept Matheryn as a patient, and enrolled her as a member. The initial plan was to fly Einz to the United States while she was still alive, so Alcor’s team could perform the procedure domestically. That procedure is complex and highly invasive; the BBC calls it “intense.” It involves moving the patient onto an ice bed, […]
Von Hagens has no shortage of donors. His exhibitions have used 1,100 bodies – but he claims to have another 12,100 living donors signed up. One is Emma Knott, a PR consultant in London. “I was so inspired after I saw the exhibition], which is why I made that decision,” she says. But does she have reservations? “Not really, I mean let’s face it I’m going to be dead.” For her, the attraction lies in encouraging people to get excited about science and anatomy.
The American poet Miller Williams — father of alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams — passed away on January 1st, 2015. In this interview with Paste Magazine, Lucinda Williams reflects on her father’s influence in her life and on her work. Not only did he encourage her to pursue music, his words inspired many of her songs.
In the Oxford American, Alex Mar goes to San Marcos, Texas to visit the Forensic Anthropology Center, which contains the largest of America’s five “body farms.” Body farms are research facilities where families or individuals can donate their bodies for scientific studies, like how our bodies decay when left out in the sun and exposed to nature for weeks at a time.
What is [death]? It’s a fact that human beings—no matter who they are, no matter how healthy or strong or beautiful they are—are going to age and become weak and ugly by a certain standard, and die. And I think that’s a terrifying idea for people to get their minds around. It’s a very strange […]
The following is from Rachael Maddux, who wrote about contemplating the idea of death and mortality at a young age. Maddux wrote this essay for The Paris Review last June: For almost as long as I’ve been alive I have known that I am going to die. This awareness came to me when I was […]
When do we really die? Is it when the heart stops—or is there a certain point that brain death means actual death? As we make advances in medicine, it’s raising new questions about what’s final. An excerpt from Teresi’s new book, The Undead: Michael DeVita of the University of Pittsburgh recalls making the rounds at […]