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]
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]
I need to notify someone's online contacts that they passed away. Complications below. [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.
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 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]
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]
After seeing and reading about the death of parents, one of the biggest regrets seems to be not knowing them better. I have a cordial but distance relationship from my parents and while I don't ever see us being BFFs, I would like to know them better as people and their life. How do I do this, considering I live 6 states away? [more inside]
Background: I was in the middle of doing a mild restoration on my little brother's bike two years ago (2000 ZX-7R) when he died very unexpectedly. I don't know what to do with it now and just realized that it hasn't been registered since 2008. [more inside]
Within the past year or two (approx.), there was a book published that laid out (in a somewhat light-hearted, abbreviated manner, for mass market) many various imaginings from religion, folklore, etc., of what life after death may be like. Can anyone recall it for me?
A dear friend of mine who lives far away has lost two of her three cats to sudden, upsetting illness, in the space of a week. She has implied that she's not interested in talking about it, which I can understand. [more inside]
My brother and I are sitting down with my parents tomorrow to discuss specifics of what they've put in place for end of life planning. What should we ask? [more inside]
So my sister-in-law had a stroke last week and passed away on Friday. My niece's are 7 and 19. The older one, of course groks it, but I'm not sure how much the younger one is getting. [more inside]
My Dad just called and my Mom unexpectedly died in her sleep at 62. We need help in knowing what to do. [more inside]
Will uncooked Chinese sausage end my life? [more inside]
In the event that I have any control over it whatsoever, I want to die well. Recent family events and yesterday's NPR segments (1, 2) on end-of-life issues raise a fresh wave of questions about how to plan now for the best possible end later on. Is there anything in the works that looks like a living will but allows us in our younger healthier years to document the preference "if a, b or c happen, just guide me to the light with morphine"? I want to be able to die as peacefully and (perhaps almost as) easily as my pets can. And perhaps I should reserve this additional loaded question for a separate post, but what the hell: why do people care so much? [more inside]
My Mom passed in March. She thought I had a POA. I can't find one. Her will is old, and predates my father's death. I don't believe I am mentioned in it, but I am next of kin. There is no Estate. She does, however, have a smallish bank account that I would like, as her only child, to take possession of. Is there any way for me to do this in NYS without creating an Estate, which would probably eat the cash in the bank account anyway? I can't stand to think of the bank just keeping her money. Thanks for any and all help. If it's important, she passed in OR, and the bank is national.
Anybody remember this? A boy rides his horse in the rain, it gets stuck in the mud, the boy screams his horse's name (Philip), a lot, while the figure of Death looks on? [more inside]
An older family member has died. We'll be traveling to attend the viewing and funeral, which will be heavily religious. My 7-year-old daughter didn't know this family member, but has reacted very negatively to the idea of death in the past (long stretches spent sobbing in my arms). We are agnostic, with one of us leaning heavily towards atheism. I could use suggestions on how to talk with my little girl about these things. [more inside]
A hundred years ago, if you had an infection that we would today treat with antibiotics, what was the typical prognosis ? Death ? [more inside]
My parrot Scooby died a week ago. I am still in a horrible state of mourning. My wife is over it. She keeps telling me to get over it too. YANMT. What can I do to move on? I loved Scooby so very much. I have to force myself to eat every day. I've been drinking a lot. I can't stop thinking about her and what she was like and did. I dream about her death every night. I think it's affecting my physical health.
I wrote this question about my Aunt. As it turned out, I just wrote back a very polite reply -- "thank you for your good wishes" ...I was polite. I felt good about this. Thank you for all the helpful answers. My Aunt wrote me again -- long story inside. Thank you for taking the time to read it. [more inside]
Can signing an 'Authorization For Cremation' form somehow make me responsible for my deceased father's debt? [more inside]
For the last 6 or 7 days, I've been fixated on death, and not in a suicidal context. How do people normally handle constant thoughts about their mortality, and how can I stop this from crippling my ability to "live?" [more inside]
My friend died last week. We had been living in different countries for the past few months; we were still in contact up until a few weeks ago. His death was sudden and unexpected. He was far too young to die. I can't go to any of the memorials (he was one of those people who knew like, thousands of people, so people seemingly everywhere on earth are doing stuff) and I won't be going to the funeral. I didn't know his family and even though we were roommates, we had very few friends in common. [more inside]
I am looking for any stories that include a fatal encounter between a therapist and his/her patient. [more inside]
I love my dog. Every once in a while, I feel utterly heartbroken that I will most likely outlive him. While it doesn't happen often and it's not overwhelming, and I realize that it is perfectly natural to be sad about something like that, can you give me advice about how to turn these thoughts into something positive? [more inside]
If you keep a diary or other secret papers, do you have a plan for what happens to it if something happens to you? [more inside]
Labor of death much like the labor of being born? [more inside]
What do I do when a person is eligible for COBRA insurance but has passed away before getting papers and signing up? [more inside]
My husband is losing his father in a few weeks. He is currently spending some time with him at a hospice and is away from home to deal with chaotic family issues surrounding this. When he returns, I imagine he will need time to decompress and I want to make that easy. Please give me suggestions on how I can make that easier for him or what you've appreciated in a similar situation.
My ex-boyfriend's dad just passed away. What, if anything, should I do? [more inside]
Help me explain death to my 9 year old. [more inside]
In Ontario, can a person be buried in a natural way, so that the body returns to the earth? [more inside]
My mother is going to die, probably very soon. How do I deal with waiting for it to happen? [more inside]
My father's parents just passed away, two weeks apart exactly. How do I support my dad through this time? [more inside]
My 90 year old grandmother is barely conscious, rarely eating, and is losing her mental faculties. I visit her every lunchtime to try and get her to eat. My mother (her daughter) takes the evening shift for dinnertime. I'm not coping well. Any suggestions to help me make this easier, so I'm not sobbing my heart out every day? [more inside]
My husband has a few more months before cancer takes his energy, and then his life. We have a 17 month old son. My husband plans to write some letters to our son, but beyond that, I am not sure what to do to help my son know his father. Any ideas? [more inside]
My estranged father passed away last Sunday. I've decided to attend the funeral. Please help me conduct myself with something resembling grace. Overly complex snowflakey stuff inside. [more inside]
I googled someone I've been dating for almost 3 weeks and discovered that they had a sibling die in a work related accident just over a year ago. Now I feel I have deeply personal and traumatic information about them without it having been given freely and not sure what to do with it. [more inside]
My husband died recently. We were together for decades and have school-age children. His passing involved severe trauma, and we have social support and frequent therapy appointments to get us through the turmoil. Emotionally, we're holding up. My question is about getting our affairs in order. [more inside]
Knowledge-based hope is much needed. Since my first plea -- which helped a lot, really, this month of May has been sorrowful for Maria João and for me. A metastatic brain tumor (around 3 cms) was detected and removed. Gamma-knife surgery is next. Tomorrow starts the search for other cancerous tumors in her body. We both feel, against all odds, that we will be lucky. But what should we do? What should we hope for? Statistics are againsts us but we love each other truly. Two months ago we found a beautiful house to move into. We could move in come July, after all the tests are made. What should we do? What should our attitude be? Should we move or stay put? Should we change country? Should we prepare to die? Or live as much as we still can? Desperate questions need realistic answers. We're fighting for our lives here. Please tell us, knowingly, how to behave. For what it's worth - usually nothing - I think this time we'll be lucky enough to survive. Whatever happens.
News coverage of the Arab Spring routinely has reports (with audio-gunshots) of state actors shooting at crowds of demonstrators. Often it seems like very few people are injured/killed. Is this confirmation bias on my part, are there mass casualties, or are the folks "shooting" at the crowd (ie not at the actual people) ? [more inside]
What is it like to have/witness the decline of/lose a dearly loved grandparent? [more inside]
Please give me some suggestions for documentaries and books I might like. [more inside]
An acquaintance from high school recently died at the age of 22. His family decided to keep the cause of death private. Help me out here -- why would they choose to do that? [more inside]
In the case of a person dying for whatever reason, why does it take so long for toxicology analysis to be conducted and reports delivered?
Post mortem toxicology tests - why does it take so long for results to be delivered? [more inside]