The Aramaic word "Kaddish" (קדיש) generally refers to the "Mourners' Kaddish", one of the mourning prayer in the Jewish religious tradition. Kaddish is also the name of a monthly podcast hosted by Student Rabbi Ariana Katz that "focuses on mourning ritual and customs, features first person storytelling and interviews, uses Jewish tradition to contextualize and deepens themes of the show, and holds space at the intersection of life and death." Recently, a mutual friend, the lo
As some of you already know, this past year I have been working as a hospice volunteer and a death doula. It has been a challenging, wondrous, draining, heart-warming, illuminating time. I can’t say it has been easy. But I can say that it has been beautiful. Through this work,
I have been honored to witness many genuinely raw human moments, sometimes from an intimate perspective and other times merely in passing, as a fly on the wall. Some of the most loving, loaded, and com
One of the reasons it is so hard for people to know what to say is that they aren’t familiar with grief in the same way. They may not have lost someone close to them so they aren’t sure what words would make the person feel better or worse. When you take the time to understand the grieving process, it makes it easier to know what to say. Grief Happens in Many Ways No two people grieve the same way. One person may cry a lot while another may seem stoic. A mother with young chi
On the night my mother died, it snowed. I got the call from the hospital, and drove through the flake-laden darkness to her hospice room for the final time. Death had wiped away all signs of stress, my mom looked peaceful and at least ten years younger. I sat with her body for a bit, eventually moved to gather the flowers and cards and the blanket that had been knitted just for her. I paused at the door for one last look, and then the coroner came to take her away. The rest o
From Tony's Scrapbook by Tony Wons, 1941-1942 edition. The holidays can be especially difficult and bittersweet after a loss. It's too easy to be reminded of who you are not with this time of the year. Especially if you shared a holiday tradition or ritual with them.Here are some lovely ideas on creating new traditions after a loss from "What's Your Grief". (Thanks to Cindy Crane for sharing this link!) Advice on coping with death over the holidays from Slate. Less seasonal,
Links about death, loss and grief Death and the Maiden by James C. Christensen.
I wrote a guest post for Death and the Maidens about training to be a death midwife! Rejoice! 2015 is the Year America started having a sane conversation about death. via The Order of The Good Death facebook page. (make sure to follow for lots of great posts) Simon Davis writes on How the non-religious are shaping America's funerals. Why thoughts of death might be good for you. Gallery of Death
Death baffles us.
It’s a curious quirk of American culture, that so much attention is lavished upon the beginning of life, and so little on the end. Instead, there is a whole set of ideas and mentalities and the industries that have sprung forth from these ideologies, conscious or not, on the concealment of aging, the denial of decay. There is a number of broadly accepted practices that exist solely on our fear and avoidance of the most natural counterpart of life: death. F