A friend tells me that there are few if any family-owned funeral parlors left in the US. Although nearly all funeral parlors appear to be small establishments, they are in fact operated by large corporations. The reason they maintain the family business atmosphere is because people don't want a big company dealing with their loved ones' remains. Is it true?
I just found out that a colleague of mine from a while ago died suddenly. I'd like to send a condolence card to her brother, but I'm not sure it's appropriate. Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
So, you all have been very helpful when it came to the Life Insurance question. Good news! I found a policy! Bad news! It's so small that it barely covers the cremation expenses, of which I paid out of pocket. I've now tallied up his assets and his debts, and the debts far outweigh the assets. Like, there'll be enough to recoup my costs for the cremation, but really not a lot else. Now, I know that I'm not liable for his debts, but how do I communicate to the creditors that the Estate is Insolvent, and consequently they're not getting paid? [more inside]
Can you set me straight about the urge I get to control my husband's eating and exercise habits? [more inside]
My father was just given a very bleak prognosis. Of all the things that are upsetting, I am most distraught by the thought that my toddler will not remember my father. I am pregnant and there is a chance that my son (due in June) will never even meet my dad. I'm looking for advice on how to manage my sadness about this. [more inside]
My grandmother passed away last week. The viewing and funeral have already been held. I am now trying to deal with people who mean well, but say some incredibly dumb things. What are some good tactics? [more inside]
Overseas travel set to start March 24. Travel insurance cautiously purchased at time of booking non-refundable air and hotel in November. And now ... [more inside]
I recently found out that a friend from back in my college days died eleven years ago, but I can't figure out where, or what happened, just a date. How can I find more information? [more inside]
The last of my grandparents just passed away (it was peaceful and expected) but I'm struggling to hold myself together. I think my grieving is normal since it just happened but I'd love to hear advice and techniques to think of his life and death in positive, comforting ways. [more inside]
My father and step-father (both in their seventies) are nearing the end of their lives, and I want to give them books to read in the time they have left. I'm not looking for anything that's necessarily literally on the topic of death, nor anything religious or self-help-ish. I'm looking for books suitable for a person with limited ability to concentrate due to pain/fatigue, that run the gamut from pleasant & not inappropriate, to ones that will provoke reflection and help them come to terms with dying. Please help with your recommendations. [more inside]
How does Death speak in Discworld translations into non-alphabetical scripts? [more inside]
I need to notify someone's online contacts that they passed away. Complications below. [more inside]
What's the name of this contemporary poem about death and uniqueness? Details I'm sure about: the poem was fairly short, fairly contemporary. It was about how upon death, the world would lose the small, unique details of a person (their laugh, way of speaking, etc.) and would have to remember them. It was literary and not too obscure. The mood was warm and melancholic. [more inside]
I have been going to a number of estate sales lately, and they always vary so much. I have a number of questions about structure and what-not, and I am hoping that people who either have run them, have worked for companies that have run them, or have used companies to run them, might be able to help me. [more inside]
She is a happy and healthy three-year-old who is very curious and bright, and one of her growing interests is death and horror. Currently, we redirect to less morbid topics, but with the comparatively same level of interest in for ballet, we've got books and ballet costumes and play ballet music and have taken her to watch ballet classes, etc, so we're uncertain how to handle this goth phase from our own biases. [more inside]
I read the book about 6 or 7 years ago and it was to do with a woman in her late 40's to 50's who became pregnant when she was a teenager and was sent to a Magdalen laundry type place where she stayed for a quite a long time. After she left she became a midwife. [more inside]
I am trying to figure out the best way to name my recently deceased mother on her gravestone. I would like my father's name to be included but I would also like to be respectful of my step-father and of my mother's marriage to him. [more inside]
My dad passed away recently. He was not yet 70, not in great health but nothing severe that we knew of. As far as we can tell, he was probably gone for about a week before his landlord noticed his rent was late. This is literally keeping me up at night--I also live alone, and I'm pretty sure it's going to stay that way for the foreseeable future, so how do I make sure that if something like this happens to me, I'm at least discovered promptly? [more inside]
A mentor of mine passed away pretty suddenly a few weeks ago. I attended her funeral, cried, wrote out some of my thoughts, and think about her from time to time while listening to music that reminds me of her. This isn't affecting my daily function, but it has been on the back burner for a while. Now what? [more inside]
What books/activities/other resources will help me get past this horrible sadness. [more inside]
My husband's grandparent died. I'm wondering if I'm behaving in a decent way and need some advice. [more inside]
My father passed away two days ago of a sudden heart attack. I'm in my late twenties and wondering how to go about supporting my mother through this nightmare. [more inside]
Having not dealt with close family death often, i'm a little concerned about how to prepare my 12 yo daughter for the service etc. Thoughts? [more inside]
A friend and colleague recently passed away leaving behind two very young children. Although she did not have a substantial income, she was by far the primary wage earner for her household. Many of us at work and elsewhere are interested in contributing to the immediate support of her family and the future education of her children. Does anyone have suggestions about what the best mechanism(s) would be for doing this? Our office is in Maryland, and she and her family were residents as well.
An acquaintance's brother-in-law, a retired photojournalist (Newsweek, Time), has left specific instructions to destroy his negatives after his death so his family won't be hit by US inheritance taxes on the estimated market value of the collection. He sells through Getty and Polaris so this is a valid financial threat (he believes). Kinda sad, I think. He did a close up and personal pictorial project with a young Bob Dylan living in New York, and these rare shots would be destroyed, along with... [more inside]
Our 17 year-old Shepherd-Husky mix, Gertrude, was diagnosed with lymphoma earlier this summer. Given her condition and advanced age, I worry that one day I'll come home from work or downstairs in the morning and find that she's passed. I've been fretting about what to do with her body, should this occur. [more inside]
I am writing a letter, which I would like to keep secret until after my death. In the movies it seems so easy, but how would one really go about doing it? [more inside]
A not very close family member recently died and I would like to attend their memorial. However, I know that I will cry during the memorial and I feel weird about that. [more inside]
Help me talk to my five year old child about death age appropriately. We've talked about Fred Rogers. We've talked his feelings. We've talked about what he knows about it. He's concerned because his great-aunt died about a month ago, and now he wants to make sure we'll always be there. The problem is, in very short time his grandfather, my dad, won't. [more inside]
A dear friend (female, early 30s) is at the end of her battle with cancer. Our circle of close friends is spread out all over the country. We've been sending gifts, visiting, pooling money together for cleaning and dog walking, etc for a year. But we're in the final month or two, she's in pain (just now starting to turn to palliative care) and I'd love some ideas on how we can support her and her husband. [more inside]
I'm looking for a table that shows crude death rates in the United States, broken down by race (or at least Black and White), preferably going back to 1960 (the first year records were kept). Anyone know where to find such a thing?
How do the elderly process loss? [more inside]
My mother has terminal cancer, and I don't know how much time she has left. Others with experience losing a parent: what would I regret not doing with this time? [more inside]
My friend's Dad died earlier this year, and she's working through it. She wants to find a good grief support group in New York, preferably in lower Manhattan or Brooklyn. She works a lot, and the few she knows about meet in times when she just can't go. [more inside]
I found my cat dead under my car and I am trying to find out why. [more inside]
My mom died two weeks ago. It was from a fast growing lymphoma - was sudden and unexpected. She was an incredibly healthy person leading up to about the year before her death - no vices at all, exercised religiously, and maintained a very healthy lifestyle. Question revolves around help for coping with this loss, potential near-future loss of father, and changes in live. [more inside]
I read this poem years ago, and I'm pretty sure it's by Rimbaud, but I can't find it on Google. I think it starts out by describing a beautiful summer landscape, perhaps some wheat fields in France, and then it turns darker and describes dead young WW1 soldiers who lie there bleeding. Which poem is this?
What can I do in the short and long-term to process and cope with my dog's death? [more inside]
A close, long time friend just got the C word from his doctor. This is not a good prognosis, it's perhaps weeks/months to live. He and his family are more than likely going through various stages of fear and emotional paralysis, just my assumption as I've yet to speak with them personally, just got the news. How can I best support them from a distance? [more inside]
So I've noticed a convention that using someone's name--and only their name--as the subject line in the email message means that something pretty severe has happened to them. Like, if Jane Bloggs had a healthy baby, the subject line would be something like "Jane had a baby!", but if the subject line was just "Jane" or "Jane Bloggs" or "Aunt Jane" (assuming I'm Jane's nephew) then either Jane or her baby or both would be in the (N)ICU or more likely the morgue. I'm wondering where this started. Any help?
I'm writing my will, and I'm planning to donate pretty much my entire estate. Places on my radar are: ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Lambda Legal. I know there are tons of other great organizations out there, but I don't know who they are, so please tell me about them. I am interested in anything progressive/social justice-y.
My fiancé and I foster homeless kittens and cats in our house as volunteers for a local cat shelter. Panleukopenia just hit us hard, killing all of our fosters, making us really depressed, and now we don't know what to do. Any advice? [more inside]
It's okay with the estate, but now I need to deal with the car company. How do I make sure that I can take over the car loan of a dead relative in order to keep the (sentimental) car, keeping in mind bad credit and not enough money to pay it off entirely? [more inside]
I have deceased family members who came to America a few decades ago and died, but would not have been on Social Security rolls. A living family member wants me to find out where they are buried. How to do this? [more inside]
My girlfriend, her parent, and her entire family are 100% convinced that one of her parents has an incurable terminal disease. The catch? None of the test results have come back. In fact, none of the tests have even been done. [more inside]
With the departure of Gabriel Garcia, there has been a plethora of obituaries to make his passing. I've been reading many of them and am pretty intrigued by the life he lived. I remember reading an obituary of Svetlana Alliuyeva which recounted probalby one of the most interesting and epic lives I've ever read about. Miles Davis obituary had probably the coolest (pun intended) headline "Miles Davis, Trumpeter, Dies; Jazz Genius, 65, Defined Cool". What are the most interesting obituaries you've read and that have stayed with you throughout the years.
I think I'm about to have to deal with the loss of a beloved pet cat. I am not sure how to best handle dealing with her remains. I want to keep them. Can anyone help me figure this out? [more inside]
On Tuesday, a Japanese acquaintance from my first exchange to Tokyo in 2009/10 suddenly messaged me saying she needed someone to interpret for a Japanese lady whose son had suddenly passed away in Germany. I said okay and now I've just come home after two exhausting days and sorting through the apartment of a young man who probably committed suicide. I will have to go back there on Monday, but I'd like some tips on how to deal myself and also on how to help the mother. [more inside]
My best friend called me last night to say that her father had died of a heart attack yesterday. She was clearly still in shock. She and her husband drove in overnight and as soon as she calls I'll leave work to go spend the day with her and her family. I don't want to show up empty-handed. Besides food for lunch, what should I bring with me? [more inside]
How do I write a letter of condolence to my best friend whose dad passed away when it is the only way I have of contacting him? [more inside]