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Complicated Death, Complicated Grief

In mid-May, my mother, who was the primary caregiver for my father with Alzheimer's, died suddenly. We spent weeks trying to get my father into a suitable situation, which quickly ended up in his death (a long story, so please bear with me). I'm looking for ideas on how to cope with uncertainty amid tragedy. [more inside]
posted by carrienation on Oct 24, 2013 - 21 answers

Should I go to my ex-coworker's memorial tonight?

Should I go to my ex-coworker's memorial tonight? He committed suicide a few weeks ago. I kind of don't want to go because I'm more pissed off than I am sad. [more inside]
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas on Sep 25, 2013 - 89 answers

Friend's Dad is Dying of Emphysema...

My friend's dad is dying of emphysema. I'm not sure what stage he's in. I don't think he's ready to die yet, but he's not in good shape at all... [more inside]
posted by ifranzen on Sep 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Portuguese cemetery wall vaults?

I was recently in a small village cemetery in Portugal. In the cemetery there was a wall with coffins interred on shelves, with a modern lockable double glazed door over each vault so that you could look in at the contents. [more inside]
posted by mani on Sep 16, 2013 - 9 answers

List of famous people sorted by age of death?

I'm looking for a comprehensive list of famous people throughout history who died at age 27. Google only throws up short lists of the "27 Club" of famous musicians. [more inside]
posted by pablocake on Sep 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Guess vs Ask, grieving edition

Dealing with grief, unsure how to ask friends for support, if at all. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 15, 2013 - 13 answers

Resources for dealing with company after death of the owner.

My 40-something boss passed away very suddenly on Friday--young enough that while he'd brought up the notion of succession planning, to the best of my knowledge there was no set plan of what happens next. He was the sole owner of the CPA firm that employed me (a staff accountant) and another CPA. The other CPA is meeting with the attorney this morning, I believe, and friends of his are coming in to help us out in whatever way they can. But I'm hoping to find a few more resources for this coming week. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 9, 2013 - 7 answers

Life is fatal. Why isn't it easier to die gracefully?

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]
posted by AnOrigamiLife on Aug 26, 2013 - 20 answers

How do I get where I'm going when I'm through going places?

Death and DIY-filter! My dad, who is older but is not quite elderly or in dire straits with regards to his health, has always expressed a wish to be buried in as natural a way as possible. Think '1920s home burial with family dug grave' instead of 'put me in a biodegradable box made from reclaimed, waste wood fiber next to fifi the cat in a manicured cemetery' and you'll have the gist of what he's thinking. What are the ins and outs of making this happen? Look inside for specifics regarding our family situation/location/skillset... [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld on Aug 19, 2013 - 7 answers

How do I handle my deceased mother's bank account when there's no Estate

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.
posted by Meep! Eek! on Aug 8, 2013 - 13 answers

A short film about a horse, possibly featuring the Grim Reaper?

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]
posted by Mister Moofoo on Aug 5, 2013 - 18 answers

I need help explaining death and religion to my child.

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]
posted by moira on Aug 2, 2013 - 27 answers

What should my MIL do with this money to ensure a steady retirement?

After the untimely death of my soon-to-be-father-in-law, my future mother-in-law is expecting to receive a fairly large life insurance pay out. What should she do with this money to ensure a comfortable retirement without her husband? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 24, 2013 - 7 answers

Biographies where the subject dies long before the book ends

Can you recommend any well regarded biographies where the subject dies long before the end of the book? (The latter half of the book could be focused on the reaction to their death, an examination of the impact of their ideas or work over the following decades, etc.)
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Jul 22, 2013 - 6 answers

How can I help my friend cope and accept her dogs death?

One of my best friends is having a really hard time with her dying canine. She has had this dog since I have know her (14 years) and since the dog was a puppy. She has had some tough times in the years I have known her, and this dog has been her constant companion and helped her power through those times when she struggled even to get out of bed in the morning. She is (rightfully) having a really hard time letting go, though at this point it is the right thing to do. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 17, 2013 - 28 answers

Before antibiotics, was every infection fatal ?

A hundred years ago, if you had an infection that we would today treat with antibiotics, what was the typical prognosis ? Death ? [more inside]
posted by k5.user on Jul 1, 2013 - 20 answers

Help me live well while my father slowly dies...

My father was given a terminal diagnosis almost a decade ago. I am so lucky that he is still here. But I'm exhausted from living with the specter of his imminent death all these years. And I feel like I've been missing out on living my own life. How do I find more space for myself, even as I try to cherish the time I have with him (which now does seem to be running short)? [more inside]
posted by zahava on Jun 30, 2013 - 12 answers

My sister's super stole her laptop. What do I do?

My sister's laptop was taken by the super after she died. The locks were changed and he was the only person who was in and out of the apartment. Two days after she died someone started using the laptop. They used it on and off for two weeks and then it was returned to the apartment 1 day before I arrived to clean the place out. It was, 1 day before I returned, destroyed by submerging in water. [more inside]
posted by creiszhanson on Jun 27, 2013 - 29 answers

I Can't Get Over the Death of My Birdie. What do I do now?

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.
posted by Splunge on Jun 12, 2013 - 47 answers

What to do with this body?

Let's say you drop-in to visit an older loved one, and find them dead... [more inside]
posted by Thorzdad on May 22, 2013 - 28 answers

Icky karma germs in the ocean?

Yesterday the body of a surfer was found naked and nibbled by sharks at my daily surf spot. While surfing today in the exact vicinity I couldn't shake the feeling parts of his body, both physically and meta-physically were still 'there'. Have one science and one karma question about this: [more inside]
posted by remlapm on May 10, 2013 - 24 answers

Light My Fire

I want to be cremated by bonfire. Public bonfire. I assume it's not permitted. Are there any exceptions? [more inside]
posted by shew on May 8, 2013 - 21 answers

Explaining difficult topics to a toddler.

I have a 2 and half year old toddler (and another munchkin on the way.) He's getting to the point where he's starting to ask questions about my parents and my wife's parents and we're not quite sure how to tackle the topic. [more inside]
posted by Jacob G on May 5, 2013 - 27 answers

Now what?

The story: wife gets breast cancer. Double mastectomy, chemo, radiation. Two young kids. Nine years of remission. Then, recurrence. Three years of more chemo, then three months of hospice and she dies at home in my arms. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 30, 2013 - 39 answers

How to help a grieving student?

I am a (new) professor at a small, rural university. One of my students has had to take an emergency leave due to a death in their family. Aside from assuring them that they need not think about their schoolwork at all, and that we'll work it out when they're ready, is there anything else I can do to support them? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 26, 2013 - 19 answers

Supporting Oneself with Freelance News Photography: Possible??

It's looking like I'll be jobless this summer. Would it be possible to keep myself alive by taking photos of newsworthy events and selling them to news organizations? [more inside]
posted by Sheila Nagig on Apr 25, 2013 - 8 answers

is this a well-documented scam?

Two people hit it off online. within the span of 24 hours, one of them gets her assistant to contact the other to organise meet-up details, claims that cars are booked for travel and that their airfare is booked - and then suddenly has died from being hit by a car. Is this a well-documented scam? [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 20, 2013 - 31 answers

Family Drama -- Aunt revisited

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]
posted by Lescha on Mar 26, 2013 - 26 answers

Authorization for cremation?

Can signing an 'Authorization For Cremation' form somehow make me responsible for my deceased father's debt? [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Mar 25, 2013 - 15 answers

What was the most comforting condolence sentence you ever heard?

Has someone important to you passed away? What was the most comforting/most respectful thing anyone said to you when that happened? I work with the elderly, who die at an accelerated rate. 98% of the time, I genuinely care about the deceased and would like to give comfort to the surviving family. Since this comes up a lot, I feel as if I'm repeating the same phrases over and over. I need more options. I'm specifically asking for things people said to you that were kind. [more inside]
posted by Lately Gone on Mar 21, 2013 - 79 answers

My thoughts about death have started making me afraid to live.

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]
posted by Ashen on Mar 19, 2013 - 45 answers

Advance Health Care Directive - End-of-life decisions - How do I decide?

Recently I had a California Advance Health Care Directive drawn up (free when you buy a Will!) Whoa... this is a tough question! End of Life Decision: A) Choice not to prolong life B) Choice to prolong life Which one should I pick? How do I go about picking one? More details inside [more inside]
posted by StrictlyVague on Mar 7, 2013 - 14 answers

How do I honour my friend?

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]
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper on Feb 27, 2013 - 18 answers

How did you let go and forgive after a loss and a breakup?

Death of a parent and a breakup- how to disentangle the two, get a virtual lobotomy regarding the breakup, and for heavens sake just fucking move on regarding the breakup. [more inside]
posted by xm on Feb 27, 2013 - 20 answers

What to say to a dying relative with a fractured relationship?

My uncle is dying - the doctor says days or weeks. I haven't said anything to him, or his wife, or his kids, since they got the cancer diagnosis a few months ago. Our families have had a historically fractured relationship, so it all feels very awkward to me. Please help me figure out what to appropriately say to them. [more inside]
posted by raztaj on Feb 25, 2013 - 10 answers

James Bond, women, fleeing death

How many times has James Bond used a woman's body to prevent himself from getting killed (blocked a bullet from hitting him with a woman, etc)?
posted by aaanastasia on Feb 24, 2013 - 13 answers

My wife died. Is it OK if I *don't* want to talk about it all the time?

My wife died. Everyone keeps telling me I should have someone to talk to - a counselor or someone from hospice or whoever. I don't really feel like I need or want that, though. Am I harming myself by handling this on my own? [more inside]
posted by tylerkaraszewski on Feb 17, 2013 - 67 answers

Recurring dream

I keep having the same dream over and over. Has anyone else had this? [more inside]
posted by thank you silence on Feb 15, 2013 - 18 answers

Dealing with family when someone is dying

It appears my Dad is in the process of dying - I'm mostly okay with that, but really struggling with the rest of my family. Could use some words of wisdom. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 12, 2013 - 21 answers

What Should Be In A Fully-Wired Twenty-Something's Will?

Recently, several friends and acquaintances in their 20s have passed away. Their online accounts -- particularly their Facebook accounts -- linger, as memento mori, covered with "miss u" wall posts and that sort of thing. Which has got me thinking about what will happen when people who are now in their 20s and early 30s die. Especially if they die young. [more inside]
posted by Miss T.Horn on Feb 11, 2013 - 8 answers

How do (or should I) find out how a classmate died?

Someone I went to high school with died a year or so ago. I never learned what the cause of death was, and I'm curious. I drive by an adopt a highway sign dedicated to their memory often, and it confuses and bums me out. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 11, 2013 - 28 answers

Fiction: Fatal encounters between therapist and patient

I am looking for any stories that include a fatal encounter between a therapist and his/her patient. [more inside]
posted by 99percentfake on Feb 5, 2013 - 33 answers

That's no moon

Help me create the perfect Death Star ice sphere. [more inside]
posted by Diskeater on Jan 29, 2013 - 16 answers

my father's last wish

My father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He cannot receive treatment or transplant. My father is going to die in 4-8 months. On new year's eve I got engaged and now my father wants me to get married soon. March soon so he can walk me down the aisle and maybe even dance with me. [more inside]
posted by octomato on Jan 21, 2013 - 21 answers

How to be compassionate in an emergency

My partner's mother is on death's door and I'm struggling to find the words to be supportive as I should without being vapid and trite. He's making difficult decisions about life support against his mother's wishes, etc. An illness of my own has me bedridden and unable to be at his side. Any advice on what to say/what not to say to comfort/console/support him given the circumstances would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
posted by blue t-shirt on Jan 18, 2013 - 14 answers

Spoiler filter - novels/scripts where the protagonist was in a coma/dead

Spoiler filter - novels/scripts where the protagonist was in a coma/dead (etc) the whole time? [more inside]
posted by tzb on Jan 18, 2013 - 46 answers

I'd like to give something to my cat sitter in a horrible situation.

My cat has died, which was horrible. Worse, I wasn't even home. I'd like to send my cat sitter something. [more inside]
posted by AmandaA on Jan 8, 2013 - 9 answers

How to survive the death of father and a divorce?

My dad died a few days before Thanksgiving and my wife just left me (2 days after my birthday) and wants a divorce. Best survival tips? [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana on Jan 7, 2013 - 37 answers

"Dogs' lives are too short... Their only fault, really."

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]
posted by halogen on Jan 7, 2013 - 42 answers

Life insurance for dummies question

Mid thirties married male with no kids yet. Thinking about life insurance in case I do something stupid and die. Am I better off getting a term life insurance policy, a lifetime policy, or should I just take $100 a month and invest it on my own and use that for my wife if I suddenly kick the bucket? [more inside]
posted by wile e on Jan 6, 2013 - 10 answers

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