News and Blogs

With Poem, Broaching the Topic of Death

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New York Times
January 24, 2011

In Navajo culture, talking about death is thought to bring it about, so it is not discussed. Now health workers are trying to find a comfortable way to begin the conversation.....

The vehicle was a poem: "When that time comes, when my last breath leaves me, I choose to die in peace to meet Shi' dy' in" -- the creator. Written in both Navajo and English, it serves to open a discussion about living wills and advance directives.
Read the full article in the New York Times

Life Cycle: part two

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Graceful Journey
January 22, 2011
Death. The word is fearsome, final ... fatal. Sometimes death lingers at the doorstep and at other times it comes with no warning. When is good time to die? We could debate the question, but apart from living a healthy lifestyle, buckling our seatbelts, and hopefully wearing good genes, we have little say in the matter.

What is not debatable is that each one of us will face our own death and have probably already experienced the loss of someone dearly loved. Until relatively recently, our culture reacted to death differently - as do most other cultures today.
Read the full article at Graceful Journey

Interview with America’s Only High School Death Ed Teacher

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Digital Dying
January 17, 2011

How did teaching the course change your own views on death?

I don’t necessarily go out have a few beers and start talking about death education, but I am very comfortable talking about death. When I was teaching the class many people would ask me questions about it. As one student said, it was a course on how to live, not how to die. Once you spend time thinking about death, you realize that certain things you think are important are not, and other things you think are not important are.
Read the full article in Digital Dying


Exit Strategy (A Textbook on Death & Dying)

The Good Funeral Guide (19 January 2011)
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 January 2011 14:47 )

Georgia Funeral Directors Prevail in Important Cemetery Case

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National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)
by T. Scott Gilligan, NFDA general counsel
(Article updated)

Six Georgia funeral homes and several vault companies ("Funeral Home Group") sued the Savannah Cemetery Group, which owns five private cemeteries in Savannah, Ga., when the Savannah Cemetery Group established a rule prohibiting the use of concrete burial vaults in its cemeteries. The Funeral Home Group challenged the cemetery regulation, alleging that it violated the Georgia Cemetery and Funeral Services Act of 2000. That law allows cemeteries to establish reasonable rules and regulations regarding the type and specifications of any and all merchandise to be used and installed in a cemetery. The Funeral Home Group claimed that it was unreasonable for the cemeteries to require the use of polymer or steel vaults instead of concrete vaults.
Read the full article at NFDA

Good Grief!

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Obit Magazine
January 10, 2011
It’s fitting that Ruth Davis Konigsberg’s The Truth About Grief: The Myth of Its Five Stages and the New Science of Loss (Simon & Schuster) -- a tart, well-researched take-down of the bereavement industry Elizabeth Kubler-Ross spawned - takes place when "narcissistic personality disorder" has been eliminated from that psychiatric staple, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Given the sorry state of the world - the lousy economy, the violence at home and two wars abroad, and the surprising popularity of Taylor Swift - it seems like it’s time (OK, well past time) to get real.

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