A personal note from the author, Tess Liebersohn:

This text was assembled from a variety of life experiences: experiencing the death of my father when I was 21, pursuing a career in mental health counseling as a result, and then reading a bookshelf of books written about the topics of grief, death, dying, and loss for this project. I hope that my synthesis and expansion on them is an addition to the contributions of brilliant writers before me.

Such focused attention on this topic was a heavy gift I held for six months straight, one I suspect will continue to influence me for the rest of my life. I found myself taking long walks to ruminate on the nature of my own death as a result. I frequently brought up the topic with friends and strangers and was overwhelmingly met with an eagerness from them to discuss more. “I know I should be thinking about this more,” was a common response. “It’s too scary…” was another, accompanied by a deep, knowing sigh. Every person I talked to had either experienced grief viscerally and/or considered their own death at some point. Many wanted to share stories while some wanted to know if their avoidance was normal. “Tell me more” was my answer to them all. I believe demystifying brings us all closer.

I walked away from every conversation with confirmation that this topic (or avoidance of it) was at the heart of so much suffering and shame, and we would all benefit from investigating it in a comprehensive way. Thank you for reading.

Tess is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Writing this section has been a priceless journey for her, and she hopes to offer that experience to the readers as well.

If you have any input at all, or would like to say thanks, please contact us.

Photo by Adler Roberts