The terminal diagnosis is given, the knock on the door comes, and someone you love is dying or has just died. Death happens every day, yet as one hospital chaplain said, “Most of the time we just live life as if it isn’t an issue until it’s in our face.”
It’s not as if death is a secret. It’s on the news and in the newspaper daily, but we don’t talk about it very much, almost pretending as if it won’t happen to us or our loved ones. But by not talking and not preparing, we make dying and death scarier and more difficult than it needs to be. That is one of the messages that the storytellers in What Obituaries Don’t Tell You: Conversations about Life and Death want to impart. Talk and prepare is a theme repeated over and over.
In these stories and interviews you are sure to find people and narratives that are meaningful to you, helping you heal from loss, assuring you that you are not alone in your experiences, and allowing you to find your voice and speak your truth in your own conversations about life and death.
You may also be surprised. Did you know that there is a strong correlation between whether a death is deemed good or bad, easy or difficult, and the relationships in a person’s life, including one’s relationship to religious or spiritual beliefs?
Whether you are a person who has lost a loved one, a person thinking about your own death and wanting to prepare for it, or a student or professional preparing to or already working with issues of death in any way, you may find that the information that helps you the most is not imparted to you in obituaries but in the stories behind the scenes.