From the Vlog Brothers, 'Nerdy to the Power of Awesome."
This pathologization of grief, according to Dr. Allen Francis, the U.S. psychiatrist who chaired the task force for DSM-4, is a "disaster," which "ignores the inescapable fact that grief is the necessary price we pay for our mammalian capacity to love."
He's right, of course, but he's spitting into the zeistgeist. Our era isn't governed by common sense and respect for universal human nature, but by therapism – a kind of emotional correctness that confuses aspects of the human condition with disease. Anyone subject to a "stressor" may henceforth claim to be a passive victim. His negative mood or behaviour is seen as beyond his free will or moral agency to overcome.
The DSM-5 could end up making Person A feel there is something medically wrong with her if she mourns the passing of her mate of 50 years longer than Person B mourns that of his beloved dog.
A popular bluesy singer and songwriter in the 70s, Phoebe Snow died yesterday at 60 from complications of a brain hemorrhage she suffered over a year ago.
I played her first album, Phoebe Snow, over and over again because I loved her unique voice, her range and her songs described here
Snow was hard to categorize musically; a Times reviewer early in her career called her style "a helter skelter amalgam of pop, jazz, blues, gospel and folk." She explained to the New York Times in 2003, "No creative person should ever produce the same thing over and over."
Dennis Hunt, writing in the Los Angeles Times in 1976, said her voice had "a marvelous 'cracked' quality" and she "glides through and glances off notes in an appealing offbeat manner."
Poetry Man was her big breakout hit and this is what it sounded like and what the album cover looked like.
Here she is singing the song in a live performance
Snow's manager Sue Cameron said the singer endured bouts of blood clots, pneumonia and congestive heart failure since her stroke.
"The loss of this unique and untouchable voice is incalculable,Phoebe was one of the brightest, funniest and most talented singer-songwriters of all time and, more importantly, a magnificent mother to her late brain-damaged daughter, Valerie, for 31 years. Phoebe felt that was her greatest accomplishment."
What a wonderful woman she turned out to be
Not long after Snow's "Poetry Man" reached the Top 5 on the pop singles chart in 1975, her daughter, Valerie Rose, was born with severe brain damage, and Snow decided to care for her at home rather than place her in an institution.
"She was the only thing that was holding me together," she told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008. "My life was her, completely about her, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed at night."
Valerie, who had been born with hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain cavity that inhibits brain development, was not expected to live more than a few years. She died in 2007 at age 31.
A few months later she gave an interview to the Record of Bergen County and talked about her grief at her daughter's death.
"Right now it's beyond a hole. It's a black hole, I don't even know how to describe that vacancy because it was such an intense relationship. We lived together for 31 years. She was a perennial child. I was her primary caregiver. … We were best friends. It was beyond a loss. I don't even know what word to use."
Rest in peace.
But, of course, the physical passion of the Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of this initial suffering, the one of greatest physiological interest is the bloody sweat. It is interesting that St. Luke, the physician, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.” Every ruse (trick) imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away this description, apparently under the mistaken impression that this just doesn’t happen. A great deal of effort could have been saved had the doubters consulted the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of Hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress of the kind our Lord suffered, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process might well have produced marked weakness and possible shock.
Jesus experienced hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins -- a terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart. One remembers again the 22nd Psalm, the 14th verse: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”
It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level; the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue; the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasps His fifth cry, “I thirst.” One remembers another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death.” A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionaries, is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid.
The body of Jesus is now in extremes, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brings out His sixth words, possibly little more than a tortured whisper, “It is finished.” His mission of atonement has completed. Finally He can allow his body to die.
With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, “Father! Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.” That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.
Thus we have had our glimpse — including the medical evidence — of that epitome of evil which man has exhibited toward Man and toward God. It has been a terrible sight, and more than enough to leave us despondent and depressed. How grateful we can be that we have the great sequel in the infinite mercy of God toward man — at once the miracle of the atonement (at one ment) and the expectation of the triumphant Easter morning.
After a long time he climbed a tree,
And spread his shining arms,
And hung by them, and died,
His heart an open wound with love.
St John of the Cross
He watched horrified and helpless as his girlfriend was murdered 6000 miles away.
Qian Liu was murdered as she was speaking to her boyfriend in China on a webcam.
A university student killed in front of her own webcam while her helpless boyfriend looked on was being stalked by a spurned lover, according to friends.
Officers found the semi-naked body of Qian Liu in her Toronto apartment after receiving a tip-off from her boyfriend who had been chatting with her online 6,600 miles away in China at the time of the attack.
But the mystery over what killed Miss Liu deepened today after a police autopsy failed to show a cause of death, intensifying speculation she may have been given some form of ‘lethal injection’.
A troubled 19-year-old stabbed himself to death on stage at an open mic night after playing a song called Sorry For All the Mess.
Kipp Rusty Walker repeatedly plunged the six-inch blade into his chest as the audience clapped and cheered in the mistaken belief it was piece of performance art.
But when he collapsed in a pool of his own blood they started screaming in horror and rushed to help him, but his wounds were too severe and he died soon after.
The bizarre suicide has left the community of Bend in Oregon stunned and wondering why he would end his life in such a public way.
But questions will be asked of mental health authorities after it emerged that Walker had told friends of his plan and had threatened to kill himself before.
One of Walker’s friends claimed that he had been planning to kill himself in a public place for some time.
The friend said: ‘It was almost like he wanted to prove a point, like there's no point in being scared of death because it's going to happen to us anyway,’
David Lubisi, 40, was eaten alive after he entered the Lepelle river following an argument with his girlfriend, detectives believe.
The father-of-three has not been seen for more than a week after allegedly telling a colleague about his plan on April 7.
“Our investigations have revealed that at around 7pm on April 7 he told a co-worker he wanted to walk into the river, which he knew to be infested with crocodiles,” said Sergeant Malesela Makgopa.
“He was last seen heading towards the water and never turned up after that. We believe he may have been having domestic problems with his girlfriend .”
The country’s Sowetan newspaper today reported that the owner of a neighbouring property reported seeing a crocodile with a human leg protruding from its mouth four days after the incident.
a. Stand to attention, remove any headgear if you are a man, and wait for the coffin to pass; as it does so, you make a bow with the head. If you are a Catholic, you make the sign of the Cross. When the coffin has passed, you carry on as normal.
b.Ignore it, pretend it is not happening, and carry on as normal.
Once upon a time, everyone opted for “a”. Nowadays, everyone opts for “b”. I know that of which I speak, because only yesterday I did “a” as a coffin passed, but noticed no one else doing the same, and I often sit in hearses myself and see the way pedestrians behave. I have never seen anyone doing “a”.
The way we treat the living in Britain is pretty appalling, but the way we treat the dead is abominable, and even more inexcusable, as it would not cost us much to show a little respect to those on their last journey, or to teach our children to do the same.
Furthermore, undertakers often tell me that they have to deal with rude drivers on the way to the cemetery or crematorium; I too have witnessed the hooting of horns, and the “cutting in” at roundabouts. Funeral processions are supposed to go at a funereal pace, and people should give way to them – but this is all too rare.
In Compton, California
Imagine how you would feel if you saw your Mom being cremated on TV
AN unreserved apology has been publicly given to a Waterford family left traumatized by a TG4 program screened on January 13 that showed their late mother being embalmed at a Dungarvan undertakers.
The family was traumatized after switching over to the TV station to witness their deceased mother’s entire embalming process being secretly filmed. They took legal action and received an out-of-court settlement from producers.
The relatives of Noreen McGrath, 71, from Dungarvan, took the case after watching TG4’s controversial Adhlacóirí (undertakers) program which followed undertakers in Dungarvan, Connemara and Donegal.
The five children of Mrs. McGrath, who passed away at Waterford Regional Hospital in September 2007, were unaware of any recording when they tuned into the show on January 13.
They immediately recognized their mother’s body on Dungarvan undertakers James Kiely and Sons’ slab as incisions were made and blood was drained from her remains.
The family said they had never given permission for the work to be filmed and were unaware of any potential coverage between 2007 and the 2010 broadcast -- a statement TG4 has acknowledged is accurate.
A top Wall St executive 31, at home with his wife and three young children, wanted a cigarette and to keep the smoke away from his newborn, Keith Mastronardi leaned out the window of his fifth floor apartment and fell to his death. The family had spent the day in the park and after returning home and putting the children to bed, sat down together to drink a couple of martinis. The mother turned to check on the newborn and when she turned back, her husband had vanished.
Grieving husband killed in car crash on icy roads as he headed home to arrange funeral for his wife - who died from cancer just the day before
Man dies after getting sucked into a pasta-making machine
Woman who locked herself out of house dies of asphyxia after getting stuck in basement window
Yale student dies after her hair 'is caught in a machine' at chemistry laboratory
An amazing story
A murderer whose skeleton was found hanging in a university laboratory was laid to rest today - exactly 190 years after he was executed.
John Horwood was just 18 when he became the first person to be executed at the New Bristol Gaol in 1821.
The teenager was convicted of killing his former girlfriend Eliza Balsum after a pebble he threw at her struck her on the head.
Tragically Eliza, 20, died a fortnight later after she suffered complications during a bungled operation.
Horwood was hanged for murder and his body controversially handed over to the surgeon who carried out Eliza's operation for medical research.
Last year a distant relative set about tracking down his remains after finding letters from Horwood's bereaved parents pleading for a funeral.
Mary Halliwell, 67, eventually tracked his remains to the University of Bristol where John's skeleton was displayed with the noose still around its neck.
Back in 1821, relatives of the 18-year-old boy wanted to give him a dignified funeral, but the man really responsible for the death, the bungling doctor stole the body and publicly dissected it.
Members of Horwood's family waited around in the hope they could ambush his cart and give him a private burial - preventing a public dissection.
However, the plan was thwarted and Dr Smith, who formed part of the prosecution at the trial, whisked the body away at night.
He then publicly dissected the body at the Bristol Royal Infirmary in front of 80 people.
Dr Smith removed the skin, had it tanned and used it to bind a book about the incident.
The 'Book of Skin' is currently kept at the Bristol Records Office and contains letters from his parents asking for his body.
Horwood's skeleton was kept in a wooden cabinet at Dr Smith's home and it was later passed to the Bristol Royal Infirmary after his death before being given to Bristol University - where it was kept in a laboratory.
From an interview of Dr. Diane Meier MD,
winner of a McArthur (genius) Fellowship and Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), Director of the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute; Professor of Geriatrics and Internal Medicine in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine; and Catherine Gaisman Professor of Medical Ethics in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
Dr. Diane Meier: I, as a young person, was strongly in favor of legalization of assisted suicide. I think I was somewhat naïve at the time, you know, kind of doctrinaire about my commitment to patient self-determination and patient autonomy. And as I got a bit older and had more experience taking care of patients and families, and realizing that autonomy was not really relevant to the human condition – We are all parts of families and parts of communities and critically dependent on one another in ways that notions of self-determination and autonomy pretend don’t exist –
...there’s an old Chinese proverb that: “Suicide reverberates for seven generations.” The harm to families when someone decides to leave, rather than having to leave, is substantial and has been understudied.
What’s also very interesting is that the movement to legalize assisted suicide is overwhelmingly driven by the ‘worried well’ – by people who are so terrified of the loss of control that illness and death, dying and death bring – that there’s a sort of reaction formation: “Damn it, I’m gonna take control back” over something that’s so terrifying. But, for millions of years, humans have lived and died in their families. And it’s not that scary. It’s pretty natural, like birth.
And when you look at – “What do sick people want?” – Sick people almost always want to continue to live. And it took my experience with sick people who, if it were me, I’d say, “I want assisted suicide,” and they still want to live. Overwhelmingly, people want to live, in spite of conditions that the “worried well” would think are intolerable.
Via Maggie's Farm comes this excerpt from the writings of Louis Dickinson Rich
Now I am older. I have met with poverty, flood, famine, hurricane, brutalizing labor, and illness, on extremely personal grounds. I have seen the sudden and tragic deaths of those nearest and dearest to me. I have had to shoulder responsibilities, for which I am ill fitted, and the much more difficult burden of sudden, if brief, fame. I have been hard pressed for money, as we say in Maine. I’m not whining. I’ve had a wonderful life, with the joys far outweighing the sorrows. But still, in all, there have been times when I was fair to middlin’ desperate.
There was time when my husband and my year-old son and my mother-in-law and I had one meal a day. We ate baked potatoes and salt. It didn’t do us adults any harm, and my neighbor woman, Alice Miller, provided me with six oranges and six quarts of milk a week—she kept two cows—for the baby. She said her doctor’s book said that babies needed it.
Then there was the time in December. My husband and I were laughing together over a silly joke in the evening after dinner, relaxed in our slippers before the open fire. We’d spent the day snugging down the cabin for winter, and we felt good knowing that there were forty miles of lake and impossible road between us and the nearest settlement. We were having fun. “Louise, you gorgeous fool,” he said, and died.
How the Japanese are handling their grief.
Jamie Dean on A grief observed
One of the many wrenching scenes in post-tsunami Japan is unfolding in a most unlikely place: a bowling alley. Along the 25 lanes at Airport Bowl near Sendai, more than 100 white coffins replace standard white pins, and each day grieving Japanese citizens somberly peer inside the boxes, looking for lost loved ones.
But even during some of the most painful moments of recovery, many Japanese have remained remarkably calm and resolute: Rescue workers bow in respect for the dead after recovering a body, and homeless Japanese quake victims bow in gratitude for sometimes meager supplies of food and water.
Some call the dynamic gaman—a word that conveys the Japanese virtue of honorably enduring hardship no matter how bad it gets. Others might call it gambatte—the Japanese virtue of doing one's best no matter how difficult the circumstances might grow.
Why read about someone else’s grief? Because the reader might happen upon a frame of words that defines his own experience, points a path out of his own morass. Or find the occasional morsel of wisdom. Or, sometimes, discover a hit of pure poetry or perception wrung out of the depths of a misery given generously to all.
Grief is a democratic wrecking ball of loss, love, guilt and a soul-shattering understanding of the disposability of all we hold dear, including ourselves. To write about it is like planting a flag on the smoldering pyre of death and memory. Steeping oneself in death, through words, can paradoxically be a way of talking oneself back into the rhythms and habits of life – a writer’s life.
We want to acknowledge the griever’s pain, because we also know it as our own. We offer our hand, our clumsy platitudes, a cup of broth. But at some point we itch to move on to our lives, and leave the mourner to move on to his or hers. Not out of callousness, but out of the knowledge that in the end, grief is a lonely and entirely personal place. What we wish for the grieving is that they learn to pull away from the wild, unruly currents of mourning and rejoin us, knowing that nothing we say can really matter, because we know grief’s dark allure. In grief we sound the depths of our love. In that regard, it’s a private privilege. Society has no place there.
World Around the Net calls it Vultures at the Feast .
Instead of photographers, suddenly these men look like vultures. And the image of the Haitian men watching these white photographers gather around snapping pictures of their fellow islander adds to the disquiet. Its too late to save Fabienne's life, and clearly she didn't show much good sense. I mean, if you're going to loot, take something you need not just whatever crap you could find, and don't loot in Haiti where you know the police will shoot to kill.
The real story here, though, is the crowd of men taking pictures of a girl. One of them grins as he rests his camera. The others are focused on taking that prize-winning photo, without thinking of the humanity of their subject or any dignity for her body. She's just an object to capture.
What's worse is that by this time, her family had arrived and were grieving over their lost daughter and sister.
The families of victims of the 9/11 attacks whose remains were never found have reacted with horror at plans to incorporate bone and tissue fragments found in the debris into a new museum wall.
Of the 2,792 people who died at the World Trade Center site, 41 per cent have not been identified, with 9,041 pieces of human remains still being sorted through in attempts for DNA matches.
Officials for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, which will be underneath where the twin towers stood, want to place the remains behind a quotation by Virgil made by twin towers steel.
But victims’ families have said they are unhappy at the possible remains of their loved ones being used to lure tourists.
Rosemary Cain, who lost her firefighter son, George, added that putting the remains in the same space as the museum is ‘like a freak show.’
But officials at the museum say the remains will be invisible to the public, hidden behind the Virgil quote: ‘No day shall erase you from the memory of time’ held together with pieces of metal salvaged from the twin towers.
But Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, an expert on the repatriation of Native American remains at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, disagrees.
He said, even if the remains are hidden: ‘They are essentially incorporating the human remains room into the visitor experience.’
I didn't know of Paul Baran before I read Michael Malone's lovely and moving appreciation of A Different Kind of Life
Paul Baran also achieved something else of such magnitude that its implications may not be fully recognized for another generation: he was the first true lifelong entrepreneur. In that, he may very well prove to be a pioneer of a cultural phenomenon that will help define the rest of this century.
Baran created his first enterprise in 1968. He was working on his last, one of the most ambitious of his career, on the day he died. In between, Baran, often teamed with his business partner, Steve Millard, and later his son Dave, founded as many as a dozen companies. As with any entrepreneur, many of these companies failed. But Baran also had as many hits as anyone. Once, after I introduced him as having founded four $1 billion public companies, he quietly corrected me: “Only three. The fourth was only $700 million.”
Baran never lost that exquisite timing, even in his eighties. He had an almost supernatural ability to know when an advancing technology and a needy market were about to collide … and he positioned himself there just before impact. Cable modems, computer printers, airport metal detectors, wireless Internet, smart electrical meters, medical home diagnostics — he was almost always in place (usually with a pocket full of patents) before his future competitors even identified the opportunity.
For the first time, I understood that entrepreneurship could not only be a job, a career, but a lifelong approach to the world. And that the work of starting new enterprises wasn’t just for the young. On the contrary, old folks had certain advantages — experience, perspective, stability, personal wealth, and a lack of ego — that youngsters could never duplicate. Paul Baran taught me — and I suspect his example will teach millions in the years to come — that there is no set age or duration to being an entrepreneur.
Paul Baran, who has died aged 84, was one of the two inventors of packet switching, the technology that underpins the internet. The origins of the internet go back to the 1960s, when scientists at the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (Arpa) were wrestling with the problem of how to connect many geographically dispersed computers. Unbeknown to Arpa, the problem had already been solved several years earlier, in an entirely different context, by Baran, an unassuming and greatly admired engineer who made his scientific breakthrough at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California, and went on to found several hi-tech companies.
Paul Baran, who helped build the foundation for the modern Internet by devising a way to transmit information in chunks, has died. He was 84.
He died Saturday at his home in Palo Alto of complications from lung cancer, said his son David,
Paul Baran became one of the pioneers behind "packet switching," which helps a communications network withstand an attack by bundling and dispatching data in small packages, while working on Cold War military research for the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica in the 1960s. The Department of Defense used that concept in 1969 to create the Arpanet, which laid the foundation for the modern Internet.
President George W. Bush acknowledged Baran's contribution by presenting him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2008, a year after he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Vinton Cerf, a vice president at Google Inc. who is considered one of the fathers of the Internet, said Monday that his longtime friend was a "technological iconoclast," an unusually prolific thinker and inventor who, over a career that spanned six decades, dreamed up "holy cow" ideas years before anyone else thought them possible.
Baran had more than two dozen patents and started seven companies, five of which went public. He is credited with advancing innovation in cable modems, computer printers, satellite transmissions, interactive television, remote reading of power meters, even airport metal detectors.
Paul Baran never sought credit for himself, always distributing it to others, his friends and former colleagues said. "He believed innovation was a team process," longtime friend and Silicon Valley futurist Paul Saffo told The Times on Monday.
Baran was born April 29, 1926, in Grodno, Poland. His parents moved to the United States in 1928, and he grew up in Philadelphia. He graduated from Drexel University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1949.