Why We Need More Shows Like HBO’s Six Feet Under

One of HBO’s most underrated shows, Six Feet Under deals with subject matter that affects everyone.

By Nicole Waxman

Notorious for its high-quality, mature and complex TV shows likeThe Sopranos andGame of Thrones,HBO is one of the reigning experts on excellent television content. Yet, one of their most underrated TV shows,Six Feet Under, still flies under the radar. Created by Alan Ball, the series follows the Fisher family as they run their family funeral home. While Six Feet Under a slow-burn drama series, it really explores the process of grieving and what it means to live with the knowledge of death. There aren’t many shows like it and none tackle the concept of death so realistically.

The human race lives each day knowing that there will be an end to the journey. However, there are so few projects that deal directly with death in a non-comedic way. Six Feet Under does use comedy, but it focuses on the entire process of death, from the moment it happens to what comes after. There are many scenes that feature David Fisher in his element, the morgue, as he embalms the corpses to be presented for viewing. The show spends a lot of time in this environment, often even having the members of the Fisher family conversing with the dead.

Six Feet Under also pays a lot of attention to the process of grieving and all of the dirty bits that come along with it. It highlights the effects of grieving on interpersonal relationships and the relationship with oneself, tackles some fairly existential questions as Nate is faced with death time and time again and shows how low people can get when faced with the concept of losing their life.

It’s surprising that there aren’t more shows like Six Feet Under, as it provides a safe environment for a dialogue to be started about death. The series shows the merits of religious beliefs when dealing with death, as well as more atheistic practices. It emphasizes that there is no right answer and that death is handled differently from person to person. Claire, the youngest of the Fisher family, struggles with her identity more than any of her siblings, having experienced the death of her father at a relatively young age.

Another key aspect that makes this show so great is its inclusion of mental health. Brenda, along with her brother Billy, struggles with mental health problems throughout the show, having been raised by two strict and judgemental psychologists. To be more specific, Billy suffers from Bipolar disorder throughout the show, which, when combined with dealing with death, becomes a turbulent machine that is hard to stop.

This focus on trauma, identity and mental health forms a well-rounded approach to tackling the subject of death, which can be pretty touchy. Every culture handles it differently and has different etiquette surrounding the experience. While Six Feet Under mainly covers the North American practice, it makes sure to include other cultures’ rituals involving death. But more than that, what the series does so well is it finds the common thread between cultural practices to get to the heart of the topic — death is a universal fact. We all know it’s going to happen, and we all feel similar feelings of pain, loss and heartbreak.

The world needs more shows and movies like Six Feet Under. We spend a lot of time distracting ourselves from the inevitable, and this show zones right in on what we don’t want to see. But it’s also incredibly therapeutic and helps with understanding the process from beginning to end. The nature of Six Feet Under is intensely emotional, but it’s worth every single minute. It uses creativity, ingenious characters and sharp wit to tackle a subject that inspires fear in every being on Earth, while still leaving viewers feeling comforted and grateful.

Complete Article HERE!

How to Help a Grieving Neighbor

Grief can be a lonely process, made lonelier by a pandemic that has kept us apart from the people we love.

By Ronda Kaysen

Q: I live in a close-knit Upper East Side rental building, where neighbors trade phone numbers and collect one another’s packages. The woman who lives below me lost her husband in August after an illness. Since then, I’ve heard her wailing, talking and cursing to herself, clearly in despair. The neighbor below her also can hear the noises, but we don’t know how to approach this. I have offered the widow help with errands when I see her, so she knows we’re here for her, but she declines, and I don’t think that would really help anyway. Any advice on how we can handle this?

A: Grief can be a long, lonely process, made lonelier by a pandemic that has denied us opportunities to spend time with the people we love. At another time, your neighbor may have had more sources of comfort than she does now. Or, she may have a strong support network now, and just needs the space to grieve alone at home.

But you don’t know if she’s OK, and as a concerned neighbor you could certainly offer your support. Even if she has support, she may need more.

You were kind to offer help with her errands, but as you suspected, that may not be what she needs. “People don’t need help, they need company,” said Dr. Katherine Shear, founder and director of the Center for Complicated Grief at the Columbia School of Social Work. “Offering to do some errands or get things, that’s a very reasonable thing to do, but it’s not quite the same.”

Stop by her apartment to let her know that she’s been in your thoughts. Ask if she is OK, and if she has friends and family nearby who spend time with her. Remind her that she is not alone in the building. Ask if she might want some company. The flowers are blooming, the days are getting warmer — suggest taking a walk or sitting outside together.

People who are grieving “are not good company themselves, but they just need the presence of someone” who is willing “to share this very human experience,” said Dr. Shear, a psychiatrist.

Your neighbor may rebuff your initial request, but you can keep trying. The other concerned neighbor could follow up with a similar offer. If you run into her in the lobby, remind her that the offer still stands. “Gentle persistence is what I would call it,” Dr. Shear said. “Let your compassion be your guide.”

Complete Article HERE!

Your Guide To Coping With The Loss Of A Loved One

First and foremost: It’s okay not to be okay.

By Perri O. Blumberg

Along with what you’re going through individually, the world is going through collective grief: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, economic insecurity, and racial and political unrest, so many people are struggling to find hope. It’s hard to fathom the 562,000 lives (and counting) that we’ve lost in America alone from the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of people are dealing with the loss of a loved one due to the virus.

On top of that, family members and loved ones are grappling with added layers of hardship and isolation the pandemic has created in the wake of a loved one’s passing, even if it’s not a COVID-19-related death. “Periods of grief following loss are notoriously isolating and difficult to navigate; grieving during a pandemic where many are socially distanced and unable to participate in traditional rituals of grieving, such as funerals and memorials, can make the process more complex,” says Courtney Bolton, PhD, a psychologist in Nashville, Tennessee.

And for the BIPOC community, it’s a particularly difficult time. “BIPOC communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID deaths, and this reality is rooted in a long history of racial disparities within the healthcare system in the US,” says Pria Alpern, PhD, a psychologist in New York City who specializes in trauma and loss. Those inequities exist in mental healthcare too, which leaves BIPOC people in distress, less likely to gain access to the mental health services they need to process their grief, Alpern adds.

While navigating the death of a loved one is never easy, there are coping strategies out there that can help you through. Below, explore experts’ advice and steps you can take in dealing with loss.

How does loss affect you mentally and physically?

Can’t lie to you: It’s grueling, life-changing, and awful. “Losing a loved one triggers a grief response, which is a normal psychobiological response to loss. When someone is grieving, they may experience a combination of yearning, intense sadness, along with thoughts, memories, and images of the person who died,” shares Alpern.

Of course, grief is entirely individual, and just like no one reacts the same way emotionally, grief will physically manifest differently for everyone. But Alpern notes that common physiological symptoms of grief may include difficulty sleeping, fatigue, nausea, headaches, and decreased appetite.

What do the “stages of grief” mean and are they true for everyone?

You may have heard of the five stages of grief or the Kübler-Ross model, named after the Swiss American psychiatrist who formulated the theory. These stages consist of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Some psychologists and researchers also go by a seven-stage model, which also considers shock and guilt, and pain as part of the grieving process. If you’ve lost a loved one and don’t feel like you’ve hit all these stages, does that mean there’s something wrong with you? Not at all.

Again, grief looks different on everyone, and many experts actually steer people away from reading into this definition of grief too heavily. “It’s important that we don’t define the grieving process by these stages, but rather acknowledge that grief varies individual to individual,” says Helen Rogers Pridgen, MSW, LMSW, vice president of programs at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Grief can be messy. It can be cyclical and linger around important life events, words not said, and memories of the one we lost. We must allow ourselves to feel whatever we feel.”

These stages of grief are often not linear, Bolton adds. You might experience denial and anger even long after you’ve reached a place of acceptance, or you may skip over certain stages altogether.

What are healthy ways to cope with grief?

Know that it’s okay not to be okay. If you are experiencing grief or loss, Dominique Pritchett, PsyD, LCSW, a therapist in Kenosha, Wisconsin, emphasizes that now is not the time to pretend that everything’s fine. “It’s okay not to have all the answers. And it’s okay to ask for help.”

Feel your feelings. We know, it sounds like your friendly meditation app coach, but it’s true. Sometimes, simply telling yourself “I feel sad,” acknowledging it, sitting with it, and observing your feelings and bodily sensations as they arise can help make you feel better.

In certain marginalized communities, being in touch with your emotions can prove especially difficult. “It’s important to keep in mind that based on the role you’re in, you may feel obligated to suppress these feelings because of stereotypes or un-empathetic environments,” says Pritchett. “For example, Black women are typically criticized for appearing angry and aggressive, whereas their white counterparts may be given more empathy and compassion.” Those feelings of anger and frustration can build up over time if they go unexpressed, she adds.

Focus on having a routine and making plans. “While initially, you may not want to do anything, after a couple of weeks of mourning, getting back into a daily routine helps reset our habits and helps our minds move forward,” says Bolton. Routines and goals can be useful when you’re mourning, to reintegrate back into your community and remind you of the meaning in your life, she says.

Don’t stop pursuing your hobbies. Bolton suggests filling your days with small, fleeting pleasures. That could be a hot bath, dinner with a friend, or something as simple as a good piece of chocolate. And whatever you enjoy doing on a regular basis, keep doing it. “Passions, or our hobbies, give us purpose and more fulfilling enjoyment. Both of these are excellent tools to combat the stressful feelings that may arise from loss,” Bolton says.

Honor your loved one’s life. Right now, this can feel challenging with the pandemic limiting in-person gatherings. But there’s still so much you can do. “It’s critical for many people to have a way to say goodbye or commemorate the passing of a loved one,” says Bolton. And currently, people might have to mourn in different ways, but “recalling positive memories and having the opportunity to share those with others helps us reimagine part of the mourning process that we enact in person at funerals,” adds Bolton.

She recommends creating some kind of keepsake about a loved one. That could mean putting together an album, a slideshow, or sharing pictures on a virtual site.

Trust in the passage of time. “Be patient with yourself and know that the process takes time, but the immediate pains will transform,” offers Bolton. “They may catch you by surprise down the road, and that’s okay. Be gentle and take care of yourself.” Time doesn’t heal all, but it can get you to a place where you may be able to look back on memories more fondly rather than being inundated with a surge of pain.

What can you say to someone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one?

It’s never easy to know how to comfort those who are grieving, whether it’s a relative, friend, or co-worker. Above all, sometimes just knowing you’re there for them can make a difference. “It’s important to validate, listen, and ask questions,” advises Alpern, cautioning people to avoid platitudes at all costs. Instead of saying things like “So sorry for your loss” or “That sucks,” try “I’m upset that this happened to you. What can I do to help?” or “It’s not fair that they’re gone. I don’t have words, but I’m here and listening,” she suggests. Or, a simple “How are you doing today?” a few weeks and months after a loved one’s death can really touch someone, too.

Alpern also recommends asking questions about the life and favorite memories of the person who died to create space for the grieving person to talk about the person they lost. It can feel uncomfortable but it supports the person grieving to create that space. “This is an important part of the grieving process. Be prepared to witness searing emotional pain and to sit with it,” says Alpern.

Even years after someone’s passing, on especially tough days, reaching out goes a long way. “Make note [to let someone know you’re thinking of them on] anniversaries of the passing, birthdays, or holidays, as these are often the most difficult times for individuals who are grieving,” Pritchett says.

Know that grief doesn’t just go away.

The experience of losing a loved one endures for a lifetime. Certain dates and even times of year will be hard annually, and even certain locations can be triggering. “The biggest misconception in our society is that grief goes away. Grief doesn’t go away, but it changes,” comments Alpern. “Over time, acute grief transforms and people integrate their grief in a way that allows them to continue living a fulfilling life.”

If you’re feeling consumed by grief and don’t feel you can continue with the routines of daily life, professional support, and in some cases, medication, can be key. “Seek out the support of a professional if you are struggling with your mental health. It can be comforting to share what you are experiencing with a trained professional,” says Rogers Pridgen.

In serious situations, you can also reach out to The Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741 or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, Rodgers Pridgen notes. There are also many grief support groups, so you may want to ask a friend for a local recommendation or consider a virtual bereavement group therapy platform, like Grouport and the Association for Mental Health and Wellness’ COVID-19 Bereavement Support Groups. The bottom line is that you’re not alone, and there are so many people grieving along with you—and resources out there to help you through it.

Complete Article HERE!

‘Death Is But a Dream’

— Partnering to tell stories about the end of life

UB professor Carine Mardorossian has worked with hospice doctor Christopher Kerr on projects that explore end-of-life experiences from the perspective of both patients and caregivers​

By Robert Salisbury

On April 15, the WORLD Channel, carried by public television stations across the U.S., will air “Death Is But A Dream,” a documentary based on a book co-authored by local hospice doctor Christopher Kerr and University at Buffalo Professor Carine Mardorossian.

The book, “Death Is But a Dream: Finding Hope and Meaning at Life’s End,” is the brainchild of Kerr, who over the course of his career noticed a pattern in patients who were near life’s end. He observed that in end-of-life stages, many people began to have dreams and visions of deceased loved ones visiting them at bedside. The dreams and visions often became more frequent as death drew near.

After researching and collecting data for over a decade, Kerr wanted to write a book which archived and told the experiences his patients were having.

The lengthy process of getting the book to where it is now, being published in 10 different languages and sold in 10 different countries, was rough at first. The timeline of how Kerr and Mardorossian came together in writing the book was “quite interesting,” says Kerr, MD, PhD, chief medical officer and CEO for Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo.

When Kerr and his literary agent began the process, they originally sought out a different author to assist in putting Kerr’s research into meaningful words. The partnership quickly collapsed because Kerr believed that to write about subject, you would have to witness the patients’ experiences in person, which at that time, the prospective writer was unable to do.

Mardorossian, on the other hand, had been friends with Kerr for over a decade as she stabled her horse at Kerr’s barn. In passing, Kerr explained to her that he had given up on the book because finding a writer who saw eye-to-eye with him was hard to accomplish.

Mardorossian, PhD, a professor of English and of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, offered her services. But as an academic writer, her style of writing was not what Kerr was looking for — initially.

“I continually said to Kerr, ‘Let me write it,’” says Mardorossian. “I’m not that type of person, I’m really not. I honestly felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, as I caught myself insisting: I had never written a book for the mainstream, yet I was so determined to write this one.”

Kerr ultimately decided Mardorossian was the right fit, and he again pursued the book. The process of writing soon began and took the duo a year and a half to complete. Kerr says Mardorossian “helped me find a much deeper meaning.”

“I talked to Christopher every single day, and we met up to five times a week, and we would work,” says Mardorossian. “It was a constant back and forth.”

Kerr added, “We took over coffee shops that they should have expelled us from. We could have opened and closed some of them.”

The partnership flourished. The book got picked up by Penguin Random House after what Mardorossian said was “a longer than usual bidding war” between seven companies.

Looking back, Kerr said that there was never an argument or tension throughout the whole process, as their egos were left behind. Kerr admires Mardorossian’s work ethic and determination, and calls the experience of working with her “the most enjoyable process.”

Mardorossian discusses the importance of Kerr’s work in, “As death approaches, our dreams offer comfort, reconciliation,” an article published in The Conversation.

“As hospitals and nursing homes continue to remain closed to visitors because of the coronavirus pandemic, it may help to know that the dying rarely speak of being alone. They speak of being loved and put back together,” Mardorossian writes. “There is no substitute for being able to hold our loved ones in their last moments, but there may be solace in knowing that they were being held.”

Mardorossian and Kerr are now writing another book which will be a “natural extension” from their first one, says Mardorossian. The new project will be from the caregiver’s perspective.

Kerr and Mardorossian want to shed light on these caregivers’ experiences because they believe the grieving process is an important part of someone’s end-of-life experience.

“Family members have to become nurses whether they know anything about nursing or not,” says Mardorossian. “The testimonies Kerr has collected from these caregivers say how it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever done, but also the best thing as well.”

Complete Article HERE!

National Healthcare Decisions Day

The COVID-19 crisis has heightened the awareness of mortality for all of us, not just the elderly or people with underlying conditions. April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day created to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. It is a reminder to make or update our healthcare wishes, our Advance Care Plans, for the end of life.

Advance Care Planning is a process of reflection, documentation and deep discussion of treatment preferences in the event that you are unable to speak for yourself. This planning involves the completion of your advance directives, most commonly a living will and the appointment of a Power of Attorney to act as your health-care decision-maker. This will help ensure that providers honor your wishes for end-of-life care if you cannot speak for yourself.

Compassion & Choices is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to the expansion of end-of-life planning and options. Free online resources, including the End of Life Decision Guide and COVID-19 Toolkit, available in English and Spanish, and the Dementia Directive, are available at www.compassionandchoices.org. These simple tools can help people open up these difficult yet important conversations about their end-of-life wishes with family, friends and health-care providers.

Losing a long-term spouse can be deadly, studies show

Broken heart syndrome occurs when the heart is stunned by sudden, acute stress and its left ventricle weakens. Instead of contracting into its normal arrowlike shape, the left ventricle fails to function, creating a more rounded, potlike shape.

By Sandee LaMotte

The world has joined Queen Elizabeth II in sorrow over the loss Friday of her husband of seven decades, Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, just two months shy of his 100th birthday.

The duo was a loving and close-knit couple. The Queen told guests at a luncheon on their 50th wedding anniversary that Phillip had “quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”

With the loss of what the Queen called her husband’s “constant love and help,” attention has now turned to the Queen’s well-being. The death of a loved one is a blow at any time, but losing a spouse after many years of togetherness can be especially difficult.

Studies have shown that surviving spouses can suffer from sleep disruption, depressive episodes, anxiety, impaired immune function, and overall poorer physical health.

For those concerned about the Queen in her time of great personal loss, many may be wondering if there is medical evidence of grief impacting one’s health.

Broken heart syndrome is real

Known as stress-induced cardiomyopathy, “broken heart” syndrome is a documented medical condition.

Broken heart syndrome occurs when the heart is stunned by sudden, acute stress and its left ventricle weakens. Instead of contracting into its normal arrowlike shape, the left ventricle fails to function, creating a more rounded, potlike shape.

First described in 1990 in Japan, a broken heart looks so much like a Japanese octopus trap called a takotsubo that doctors began calling the condition Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

“The heart actually changes shape in response to acute emotional disruption, such as after the breakup of a romantic relationship or the death of a loved one,” New York cardiologist and author Dr. Sandeep Jauhar told CNN in a prior interview.

In most cases, however, when the acute emotional stress dissipates, the heart recovers and goes back to its normal shape, Jauhar said.

“But I’ve had patients who have developed acute congestive heart failure, life-threatening arrhythmias, even death from this condition,” Jauhar said. “I think it’s the clearest example of how our emotional lives directly affect our hearts.”

The syndrome is most commonly experienced by women (90% of cases are in women), by people with a history of neurological problems, such as seizures, and by people with a history of mental health problems.

‘Widowhood effect’

There is another medical reality that can occur when a long relationship ends, studies have shown.

“The increased likelihood for a recently widowed person to die — often called the “widowhood effect” — is one of the best documented examples of the effect of social relations on health,” wrote Dr. Nicholas Christakis, who runs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University and coauthor Felix Elwert, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in a seminal 2008 study.

The risk of an elderly man or woman dying from any cause increases between 30% and 90% in the first three months after a spouse’s death, then drops to about 15% in the months that follow. The widowhood effect has been documented in all ages and races around the world.

Christakis and Elwert followed a representative sample of 373,189 older married couples in the United States from 1993 to 2002 and found that “widowhood does not raise the risk of all causes of death uniformly.”

When a partner died a sudden death, from say an accident or infection, the risk of death by the surviving spouse rose, the study found. The same was true for chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung or colon cancer that required careful patient management to treat or prevent.

However, if a spouse died from Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease, there was no impact on the surviving partner’s health — possibly because the spouse had adequate time to prepare for the loss of their partner.

Regardless, “the death of a spouse, for whatever reason, is a significant threat to health and poses a substantial risk of death by whatever cause,” Christakis and Elwert wrote.

What can be done

Support is key to how well someone may cope with the death of a spouse. Many people find that grief counseling can help, according to the US National Institute on Aging.

In the United Kingdom, people can obtain psychological therapy without a referral from a general practitioner. The UK’s National Health Service suggests reaching out if you have had a low mood for more than two weeks or the methods you’re trying yourself are not helping.

The AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) also has these suggestions for survivors.

Don’t put on a brave front: Surround yourself with people for whom you don’t have to pretend to be OK. “Grieving is an act of great courage and strength; it is not for the weak,” the AARP said.

Be kind to yourself: Try to get enough rest. “The more significant the loss, the more profound it is and the longer the recovery process,” the AARP said.

Expect a range of emotions, not just grief: According to the AARP, “your feelings may run the gamut from sad to mad to despair to occasional glimpses of happiness — and back again. If you are able to feel only sad, you will get stuck in perpetual despair.”

Don’t hide from people: “Grief is a lonely enough process without also isolating yourself,” the AARP said. Try your best to connect to friends and family and let them help. “When caregivers embrace the idea that seeing friends makes them hardier, then they no longer suffer guilt over having fun,” the association said.

Complete Article HERE!

A Virtual Memorial for Those We’ve Lost

The special project “What Loss Looks Like” presents personal artifacts belonging to those who have left us and explores what they mean to those left behind.

Readers submitted photos of items that reminded them of loved ones who died in the past year.

By Jaspal Riyait

As the art director of the Well desk, I’ve spent the last year looking for images to reflect the devastation of the pandemic and the grief it has wrought. As the crisis has stretched on, I’ve thought of all the people who have lost loved ones to Covid-19 — not to mention those who have lost loved ones, period — and how they were cut off from the usual ways of gathering and grieving. Watching the numbers rise every day, it was easy to lose sight of the people behind the statistics. I wanted to find a way to humanize the death toll and re-establish the visibility of those who had died.

To help our readers honor the lives of those lost during the pandemic, we decided to ask them to submit photographs of objects that remind them of their loved ones. The responses were overwhelming, capturing love, heartache and remembrance. We heard from children, spouses, siblings, grandchildren and friends — people who had lost loved ones not only to Covid-19 but from all manner of causes. What united them was their inability to mourn together, in person.

Dani Blum, Well’s senior news assistant, spent hours speaking with each individual by phone. “It’s the hardest reporting I’ve ever done, but I feel really honored to be able to tell these stories,” she said. “What struck me the most about listening to all of these stories was how much joy there was in remembering the people who died, even amid so much tragedy. Many of these conversations would start in tears and end with people laughing as they told me a joke the person they lost would tell, or their favorite happy memory with them.”

The photographs and personal stories, published digitally as an interactive feature, was designed by Umi Syam and titled “What Loss Looks Like.” Among the stories we uncovered: A ceremonial wedding lasso acts as a symbol of the unbreakable bond between a mother and father, both lost to Covid-19 and mourned by their children. A ceramic zebra figurine reminds one woman of her best friend, who died after they said a final goodbye. A gold bracelet that belonged to a father never leaves his daughter’s wrist because she is desperate for any connection to his memory.

For those who are left behind, these items are tangible daily reminders of those who have departed. These possessions hold a space and tell a story. Spend time with them and you begin to feel the weight of their importance, the impact and memory of what they represent.

Museums have long showcased artifacts as a connection to the past. So has The New York Times, which published a photo essay in 2015 of objects collected from the World Trade Center and surrounding area on 9/11. As we launched this project, we heard from several artists who, in their own work, explored the connection between objects and loss.

Shortly after Hurricane Sandy, Elisabeth Smolarz, an artist in Queens, began working on “The Encyclopedia of Things,” which examines loss and trauma through personal objects. Kija Lucas, a San Francisco-based artist, has been photographing artifacts for the past seven years, displaying her work in her project “The Museum of Sentimental Taxonomy.”

Saved: Objects of the Dead” is a 12-year project by the artist Jody Servon and the poet Lorene Delany-Ullman, in which photographs of personal objects from deceased loved ones are paired with prose to explore the human experience of life, death and memory. And the authors Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax spent years interviewing hundreds of people and asking them about the most meaningful single object in their lives, gathering their stories in the book “What We Keep.”

As the pandemic continues to grip the nation, the Well desk will continue to wrestle with the large-scale grief that it leaves in its wake. Other features on this topic include resources for those who are grieving, the grief that’s associated with smaller losses, and how grief affects physical and psychological health. As for “What Loss Looks Like,” we are keeping the callout open, inviting more readers to submit objects of importance, to expand and grow this virtual memorial and provide a communal grieving space.

Complete Article HERE!