Saturday, October 14, 2017

Patton Oswalt Gets Personal In New 'Annihilation' Netflix Comedy Special

In “Patton Oswalt: Annihilation,” the comedian opens up about the death of his wife and how he dealt with his grief over the past year. “It’s therapeutic, but it’s very, very terrifying getting to the therapeutic part. Really terrifying,” Oswalt told TheWrap ahead of the special’s release. He added that “it can be really frightening” to use his grief as part of his comedy because “I don’t know if it’ll end up being therapeutic and I don’t know if it’ll end up like, tainting the therapy if I’m also doing it as part of my comedy.”

Patton Oswalt Gets Personal In New 'Annihilation' Netflix Comedy Special:

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Leisure Seeker Trailer #1 (2018)

Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland play a couple facing memory loss and aging in "The Leisure Seeker," coming in 2018.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Inspired Funeral

There is a thoughtful, wise new resource about death and dying online: The Inspired Funeral.  Highly recommended.  From the home page:

When death looms, we are all lost children. This is when we long for ritual and ceremony to help us honor our humanity and feel held by something larger. We've found some of our favorite readings to share with you, and ceremony templates to help you envision what might be possible. Use them to create what fits the dying or deceased person you are honoring, your family and friends. We welcome you to build a loving, digital obituary here too. If you need more personalized support, please reach out for help.

7 Ways To Save Money When You Die | HuffPost

When I was in the government, I worked on the rule described here that requires disclosure of funeral costs.  Note the main point below -- what you spend on the funeral is not a reflection of your feelings for the person who has died.  Increasingly, families are choosing simple, ecologically friendly funerals with simple, unpolished wood caskets or cremation.
Dying can be an expensive proposition, and when the death of a loved one occurs, nobody is in the mood to go comparison shopping or start hunting down deals. The median cost of a funeral home’s services is $7,180, according to 2015 data from the National Funeral Directors Association. But that’s just the funeral home. 
Add to that cemetery costs, grave-digging and grave markers, and says the average funeral in the U.S. can cost more like $10,000. And the Federal Trade Commission says even that may be underestimating things. Sometimes, $10,000 barely covers the cost of a casket alone ― especially if you were thinking mahogany or copper.  But there are ways to save money on your death. And remember, the amount of money someone spends on a funeral bears no correlation to how much the deceased was loved. Practical people die too.

7 Ways To Save Money When You Die | HuffPost

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What Not to Say to Bereaved Parents (reprinted with permission)

6 Things We Need To Stop Saying 
To Bereaved Parents
Joan Markwell knows the gut-wrenching, hollow feeling left behind when a child is taken too early. It’s a feeling that mothers have experienced recently and throughout the last few years after tragic attacks in Orlando, Manchester, London, San Bernardino, Calif., and Charleston, S.C., just to name a few. 
With every new tragedy, vigil, story on the news or anniversary recognizing these events, plenty of mothers like Markwell – who lost her adult child to cancer – feel the sting of the wound that accompanies their loss. While that wound may have healed, there is still a scar left as a reminder of the pain that still lives on for many grieving family members, including mothers who are surviving with that pain in many different ways. 
“When a mother loses a child, the grief dictates her life,” says Markwell, author of the book Softening the Grief. “You don’t see an end to the pain. As the body reacts to the stress you feel, physical pain follows. Sleep is out of the question.”
It’s a grief that only they understand, however, and one that others usually don’t know how to deal with. “The first time we meet a friend since the death of our child occurred can be frightening,” says Markwell, “It’s not that we don’t want to see them; we just can’t face anyone without tearing up.” To avoid those awkward situations, Markwell offers up some phrases you should avoid saying to grieving parents and instead offers alternatives: 

  • “You Are So Strong.” In reality we are exhausted from trying to look strong. Try this instead: “I know it’s hard to be strong right now. I’m here for you to lean on anytime. I have an open heart and time to listen.”

  • “Be Glad You Have Other Children.” We may have other children, but they cannot replace the child we’ve lost. Try this instead: “No child is replaceable, but I hope having your surviving children around you helps in easing the pain of your loss.”

  • “You’re not the first mother who has lot a child.” Yes, but this is the first time I’ve lost my child. Try this instead: “I know mothers who have lost children and how much they grieved. That has made me aware of what a fight this is for you. You will continue to be in my thoughts.”

  • “My child almost died, I know how you feel.” If you said this, you only had a clue about how it might feel to lose a child. Try this instead: “My child had a close brush with death, which was terrifying enough. There can be no comparison to actually losing a child.”

  • “Time heals all wounds.” In time the mind covers wounds with scar tissue and pain lessens. But it’s never gone. Try this instead: “I hope in time your pain and grief will soften. Knowing it will take time, I stand beside you for the long haul.” 

  • “Everything Happens for a Reason.” There is never a good enough reason as to why our children were taken. Try this instead: “It goes beyond reason for any child to be taken from a mother. There was certainly no good reason to lose yours.”

“These awkward but common questions and statements can trigger a world of grief for bereaved mothers,” says Markwell. “When talking to a grieving parent about their lost child, it’s best to take a step back and choose your words carefully.”  

 About Joan E. Markwell 

Joan Markwell is a small business and real estate owner who resides in Lawrenceburg, Ky. She is a former board member of the Lawrenceburg (Ky.) Chamber of Commerce, former board member of the Spencer County (Ky.) Tourism Board and former vice president of the National Association of Women in Construction, Bluegrass Chapter (Lexington, Ky.). Markwell lost her daughter Cindy – who was a mother of two herself – to cancer in 2013. Cindy’s children, Lucas and Samuel, are a big part of Markwell’s life, as is her son, Kris Fields. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

When You Lose Someone You Love -- A New Book from Joanne Fink

Joanne Fink's new illustrated book, When You Lose Someone You Love, is a touching reminder that just when we feel most alone, we can reach out to find compassion and understanding. It will be released October 10, 2017 from CompanionHouse Books.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

John Cleese on Death

New York Magazine's Vulture: Is death funny?

John Cleese: It is. Death is certainly present in my life, and there’s humor to be mined from it. Somebody was saying to me last week that you can’t talk about death these days without people thinking you’ve done something absolutely antisocial. But death is part of the deal. Imagine if, before you came to exist on Earth, God said, “You can choose to stay up here with me, watching reruns and eating ice cream, or you can be born. But if you pick being born, at the end of your life you have to die — that’s non-negotiable. So which do you pick?” I think most people would say, “I’ll give living a whirl.” It’s sad, but the whirl includes dying. That’s something I accept.

John Cleese on Monty Python and Political Correctness: