Navigating Grief and Solace in the Cycles of Life

Eric Green

After I regained composure and equilibrium, I was left in further disbelief when I discovered two eggs in that pot. I realized I had rudely interrupted the nesting of this bird. I imagine it regarded my sudden appearance as a grave threat to the livelihood of its still-to-be-hatched chicks and wasn’t about to let me interfere.

Welcome to Mongolia: A Great Place to Die

Andrew North

Opioid medications still require a special form, as in most countries worldwide. But a much wider range of professionals can now prescribe them, including oncologists and family doctors. This has led to a 14-fold increase in their use in the country from 2000 to 2014, according to Mongolian Health Ministry figures. Khandsuren is an oncologist by training, and now oversees opioid prescriptions for all the hospital’s outpatients. The majority are still people with cancer, but non-cancer patients have become more common.Every district hospital in the country now has a pharmacy like this one.

Celebrity Deaths in the Age of Google and Facebook

Sandip Roy

For the record the Google search yielded 513,000 results in 0.27 seconds. That's a lot of Maya Angelou to choose from even for the most Angelou-ignorant. Once when a legend died, the problem was what to say if you hated him. But to have an opinion, good or bad, about a legendary literary figure you had to read her. Now for instant and innocuous insight you can just Google her. Once you faked sorrow. Now you fake familiarity.

Only the Good Die Young: Remembering Ill-Fated Icons

Mike Mariani

There has always been something highly conspicuous about our obsession with the macabre deaths of famous people. There is the aforementioned Sylvia Plath bowing into the oven, playing Gretel to the wicked witches in her head; Kurt Cobain and all the conspiracy theories casting a gaseous haze around that sinister shotgun; even Anna Nicole Smith, who has been immortalized, paradoxically, because the narrative of her life seemed so destined to end in sordid, premature death. 

The Tragedy of Self-Immolation: An Act of Protest No Longer Noticed

Andrew Lam

With the exception of Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian fruit vendor who set himself on fire and thus sparked what became known as the Arab Spring, self-immolation has by all accounts become a failed form of protest as an agent of change. Since Bouazizi, in fact, 150 more Tunisians have set themselves on fire in protest against the new government that took over after the downfall of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali's secular dictatorship. 

Cambodia’s ‘Death Tourism’ Escalates With Cremation of Sihanouk

Sandip Roy

On February 5, after lying in state for almost four months, Norodom Sihanouk -- the king who abdicated twice, led his country into the horror of the Khmer Rouge and then out of that darkness -- was cremated on an ornate funeral pyre inside a 15-storey-high crematorium, while 100 guns fired a salute and 90 Buddhist monks, one for each year of his long life, chanted shlokas around his flower-bedecked coffin.

Are You Really Dead Until You Are Dead on Facebook?

Sandip Roy

From New America Media and FirstPost: In the old days it was standard (if a slightly morbid) practice in major newsrooms to prep obituaries of famous persons. Elizabeth Taylor famously outlived her own New York Times obituary writer Mel Gussow by six years. … In the age of social media, obituaries have turned into a string of tweets.

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