Get Well Soon? Awk-ward! Farewell cards find a niche

Get Well Soon? Awk-ward! Farewell cards find a niche

The greeting card industry has a good track record of predicting and capitalizing on trends before the rest of us even notice them. Remember, this is the industry that made doggie sympathy cards seem totally normal. (For a wonderful look back at the history of...
Is Hospice the Only Thing Americans Agree On?

Is Hospice the Only Thing Americans Agree On?

The nation’s 4,000 hospices, 60% of which are not-for-profit, offer skilled nursing care, control of pain and other symptoms (such as shortness of breath), depression screening, and bereavement support. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care...
Should Registered Organ Donors Be First in Line?

Should Registered Organ Donors Be First in Line?

If your loved one became an organ donor, you must decide whether to mention that fact in his or her obituary. According to the American Medical Association, two people die every day in the United States waiting for organs. The need to obtain explicit consent from...
Regrets…Still Missing Maggie

Regrets…Still Missing Maggie

In my late 20s, in the ladies room of the local animal shelter where I was a volunteer, I overheard an attractive woman in her 50s say she’d decided to move to Scottsdale simply because she liked it there. Wait, who does that? Intrigued, I asked her to meet me for coffee and tell me more.

Destination Funerals Change Scenery

Destination Funerals Change Scenery

Cremation has made it possible to hold a memorial in a distant location well after a person’s death, giving rise to so-called destination funerals. “Just as marriages have moved away from religious buildings and register offices,” says London’s Daily Mail, “now...
Saying Goodbye to My Dad

Saying Goodbye to My Dad

Capt. Richard L. “Dick” Martin, Cam Ranh Air Base, Vietnam, 1969, standing next to a C-17 Caribou like the one pictured, which I found among his Vietnam photos. On the back of the color photo, he wrote “Ahh—shade. Somewhere in Vietnam.”

Writing this piece for Slate in 2014 is what first got me thinking about the role of technology in saying goodbye to a loved one. It was really personal to me, especially the last nine or ten paragraphs. Hope you have a moment to read it.