Ceased to be, eternal rest, journey’s end, six feet under. First, why do we have such a hard time facing the realities of death? We’ll begin with planning for it….and the importance of getting your wishes in order. Then, we find out what happens when someone dies mysteriously. Death by murder…or owl? And, we’ll talk to the Boston Globe’s obituary writer about the growing number of people writing selfie-obits. Today, Word of Mouth casts off the euphemisms and talks directly about death.
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Addressing Death and Lasting Matters
No matter how you frame it, light it, or script it, we are all facing the final act…the inevitable…the void…game over. No matter how un-gently you rage against the dying of the light…one day, the bell will toll for thee. So why is something so universal and natural so difficult to discuss directly? Why can’t we just say the words? Barbara Bates Sedoric is trying to change the way people deal with death. She is president and founder of Lasting Matters and author of a planning tool called The Lasting Matters Organizer. She spoke with us about how to better prepare for the inevitable.
Here's a video for more information.
How Hollywood Killed Death
In last year’s Star Trek: Into Darkness, it takes Captain Kirk a long couple of minutes to die onscreen. The only problem is that he hasn’t actually died. Writer Alexander Huls argues films like Star Trek: Into Darkness are ruining the emotional resonance of on-screen fatalities. His article “How Hollywood Killed Death” appeared in the New York Times.
Here's Samuel L. Jackson in Deep Blue Sea, whose death scene Huls considers to be one of the best in cinematic history.
Criminal: Animal Instincts
In 2001, a husband was convicted of murdering his wife in cold blood. One neighbor opposed this theory and instead posed one of his own: the murderer had been not man but beast. An owl, to be specific. Producers Phoebe Judge, Eric Mennel, and Lauren Spohrer of the podcast Criminal brought us this story.
How To Write An Obituary
In March, character actor James Rebhorn died. His obituary was remarkable not because of his considerable accomplishments but because he had written it himself. He’s just one of the many people who are doing the same thing. How and why might a person write their own obituary? We’re putting that question to the Grimmie Award-winning Boston Globe obituary writer Bryan Marquard.
The Serious Business of Funny Obituaries
The satirical news site The Onion is famous for their stories poking fun at everything ranging from annoying neighbors to office culture, including…obituaries? Cole Bolton, editor of The Onion, spoke with us about the challenge of writing funny obituaries for real people.
And now, we have a challenge for you: we want your six-word obituary. You can post it below in the comments, on our Facebook page, or Tweet it to us @wordofmouth. We'll start: We Loved Exploring This Fascinating World.