This page – a curated collection of resources and tools for Grief, Loss, Death, and Dying – is intended as an easy-to-reference list of things on the subject. Click around at your own direction and pace. You can use the links below to skip to sections on this page.
Some of the most important collections of resources have their own pages. Please click the buttons below to visit our Book collection, see a full collection of organizations, or read a note from the author of this section.
Death and Dying Articles
“How the Unrelenting Threat of Death Shapes Our Behavior” by Hans Villarica, The Atlantic (4 May 2012) “To investigate the effect of mortality awareness, researchers behind the influential “terror management theory” first experimented with judges and prostitutes.”
“4 Harsh Truths That Will Make You A Better Person” by Eric Barker, Barking Up The Wrong Tree blog
“The Positive Death Movement Comes to Life” by John Leland, The New York Times (22 June 2018). “Death cafes, death doulas, “Ask a Mortician,” DeathLab – once the province of goth subculture, death is having a moment in the sun.”
“Death, Redesigned” by Jon Mooallem, The California Sunday Magazine (5 April 2015). “A legendary design firm, a corporate executive, and a Buddhist-hospice director take on the end of life.”
“Inside the Cafes Where People Go to Talk About Dying” from Wired. An interesting look at death cafes – their need and operation. You can find related communities and organization on our Helpful Organizations page.
“How to Help a Grieving Friend: 11 Things to Do When You’re Not Sure What to Do” (PDF) by Megan Devine, www.refugeingrief.com; It’s OK That You’re Not OK (book)
“Grief Is a Genesis, Not a Finale” by Sophie Sabbage, Psychology Today (2 May 2017)
“Connecting the Dots: Grief and Impact,” from the Conscious Leadership Group, contains 10 min grief meditation
“We Will Grieve Forever Because We Love Forever” by Laura Sparrow, The Gottman Institute website
“Can Losing a Loved One Make Your More Grateful?” by Nathan Greene, Greater Good Foundation
From the On Being website:
“The Gifts We Give, The Gifts We Are” by Courtney Martin
“Memoirs of a Griever” by Catherine JF Sietkiewicz
“How to Reach Out to Someone Who Is Struggling” by Omid Safi
“Loss Can Be the Place Where Beauty and Goodness Begin” by Parker J Palmer
Some organizations that are helpful for the subject of death specifically;
- Death Over Dinner www.deathoverdinner.org – “An uplifting interactive adventure that transforms the seemingly difficult conversation [about death] into one of deep engagement, insight and empowerment. We invite you to gather friends and family and fill a table.”
- Order of the Good Death www.orderofthegooddeath.com – “The Order is about making death a part of your life. Staring down your death fears—whether it be your own death, the death of those you love, the pain of dying, the afterlife (or lack thereof), grief, corpses, bodily decomposition, or all of the above. Accepting that death itself is natural, but the death anxiety of modern culture is not.”
- Tips to consider when deepening your relationship to death: http://www.orderofthegooddeath.com/fear-of-death
- Ask A Mortician YouTube series, with the founder of the Order of the Good Death: https://www.youtube.com/user/OrderoftheGoodDeath
- Here is an open online course by Yale on Death with Professor Shelly Kagan: https://oyc.yale.edu/death/phil-176#sessions
- A Scientific journal for Death Studies: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/udst20/current
- A Ghost Story – A recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost (Casey Affleck) returns home to connect with his beloved wife once more in this cosmic exploration of time, love, and the human desire for meaning and connection. (movie, 92 min). There is a fascinating monologue on impermanence at 58:30.
Some organizations that are helpful for the subject of dying specifically:
- You’re Going to Die: www.yg2d.com – “A 501(c)3 nonprofit bringing diverse communities creatively into the conversation of death & dying, inspiring life by unabashedly sourcing our shared mortality.”
- Let’s Reimagine: https://letsreimagine.org/ – “Reimagine End of Life is a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, we create weeklong series of events that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance.” The organization hosts two weeklong festivals in New York and San Francisco each year.
- The Conversation Project: http://theconversationproject.org/ – “The Conversation Project is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected.” Website contains a free starter kit for talking with loved ones as well as a host of other resources.
- The Art of Dying: www.artofdying.org – “The Art of Dying Institute, an initiative of the New York Open Center is dedicated to fostering an engaged community of practitioners; researchers & scholars; educators; front-line innovators; partners; and investors to address the need for a cultural awakening around the theme of death, how we die, and the consequences for how we live.”
- Morbid Anatomy: http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com/ (features lots of books and links) – A long-running blog that “surveys the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture.”
- Additional descriptions of various losses: What’s Your Grief’s long (but not exhaustive) list of essays.
- Personal essays about all kinds of losses: Modern Loss.
- More information about secondary losses: this excellent post from What’s Your Grief.
- Definitely check out our Loss Map, which elucidates the extent of what we’re losing when we lose someone or something:
- Follow the links below to visit our respective pages on grief, and see how we’ve curated resources for you on this broad subject.
LOTS of movies feature grief somewhere in its plot! Here’s a few…
64 Movies About Grief from What’s Your Grief
Inside Out (2015)
A Monster Calls (2016)
Griefwalker movie about Stephen Jenkinson (www.orphanwisdom.com) “The feature length National Film Board of Canada‘s documentary (dir. Tim Wilson) film about Stephen Jenkinson’s work with dying people. This extraordinary portrait reveals some of the cultural and spiritual roots that continue to shape his ideas and teaching.”
Check out Order of the Good Death’s great podcast resource list
“The Myth of Closure with Pauline Boss,” On Being podcast (51:00)
“What Matters in the End with Atul Gawande” On Being Podcast (52:10)
Steve Taylor: A Year to Live on Sounds True with Tami Simon (15:05, includes guided meditation)
“A Glimpse Into Mortality with Frank Ostaseski” Unmistakable Creative (53:05)
“Gustavo Ferrer: Making Peace with Death” on Sounds True with Tami Simon (1:00:26)
“Elizabeth Gilbert Shows Up For Everything” TED Conversations (58:58)
BJ Miller TED Talk: What Really Matters at the End of Life (19:07)
What death can teach us about life: A playlist of 7 Ted talks
Ned Buskirk’s poem “You’re Going to Die” (5:51)
Grief and Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (2:57)
Frank Ostaseski: “Inviting the Wisdom of Death into Life” | Talks at Google (54:07)
Congratulations! Assume you got here by journeying through the whole section of Grief, Loss, Death, and Dying, you have come a very long way! We hope it has provided a place to sit and think in the realm of death, loss, life, and love. Wherever you were in relation to this topic at the beginning of reading, we hope that you have arrived somewhere new and that the journey has been meaningful.
This section is a synthesis of the huge amount of discourse on these topics that is already out there, waiting to be read and considered by inquisitive minds like yours. If you didn’t find something that you were looking for, we would love to know about it.
Please contact us for more conversation, ideas, and questions (link to contact page).
And, you care to, please read this personal note from Tess, the author of the section.