Men and Grief

By Rick Belden

Men and Grief

Male Grief: Invisible, Misunderstood, Unwanted
Grief is an inevitable part of every human life, regardless of gender. It is also one of the great isolating forces in the lives of men. Male grief is all too often invisible, misunderstood, and unwanted, which leaves many men in the difficult position of having to deal with their grief on their own, if they deal with it at all.

Most men (myself included) routinely reject vital aspects of themselves and their histories because they do not want, or do not know how, to feel and move through the grief that is bound up and waiting inside them. The fear of being shamed by another when most vulnerable, of being stripped of one’s masculinity by women as well as by other men, is a powerful motivation not to feel and express one’s grief.

The requirement to go into that grief all alone, in secret, for lack of understanding, trusted support is another prime and completely understandable reason for avoidance. There is a deep and profound loneliness in knowing that one must do such difficult, intense work alone, without witness, and it’s no wonder so many men don’t want to do it. I fight that battle myself all the time.

Today I’d like to share excerpts from three posts I’ve seen recently on the subject of male grief that shine some light on this important and severely neglected aspect of the masculine experience. My hope is that, in some very near future, the dialogue about male grief can become far more common and open than it is today, so that men who are grieving can come out of the shadows and men who need to grieve, but haven’t felt the freedom and support necessary to do so, can begin.

What Women Should Know About Male Grief
The first selection, written by Mark Mercer, is called “What Women Should Know About Male Grief”. Mark, who has been a hospice bereavement director and counselor for 18 years, says, “Men grieve far more than we show or discuss.” I would certainly agree. Here’s an excerpt:

We almost never cry in front of other men. If we feel that a woman is “safe,” we may cry with her. But most of our tears are shed when we are alone, perhaps while driving our vehicles. In all too many cases, our hot tears become a deep-freeze of anger or rage. Most very angry men are very sad men.

Mark also makes some important points about the often neglected fact that there are different ways and different styles of grieving. For example, some men find physical activities (such as vigorous manual labor) to be a healthy means of channeling and expressing some of the energy associated with grief. You can read Mark’s entire post here.

For additional thoughts on how women can create safe emotional space for men who are grieving, see my companion post “What If He Cries?” here.

Teen Boys – Grief and Loss
The second post, written by Earl Hipp, is called “Teen Boys – Grief and Loss”. Earl has been involved with groups and organizations that focus on men’s issues and development for over thirty years. In his post, Earl talks about learning, as a boy and young man, how he was supposed to deal with grief and loss:

The absence of any support, or even positive role modeling around dealing with loss and grief, communicated a pretty clear message: You’re on your own, just deal with it. I did … and became a kid who was emotionally bound up, pressurized, and lived with a thick veneer as a shield over all that anger and sadness. On the top I wore an “I’m OK” mask.

I know that story all too well, as do countless men. Earl’s focus, as always, is on using his own experience as a starting point to help succeeding generations avoid the traps and pitfalls that have caused, and are still causing, so much pain for so many boys and men, and he devotes the majority of the post to that task. You can read Earl’s full post here.

Book Review: Tom Golden’s The Way Men Heal
The third and final post is a reader review by Andy Thomas of the new book The Way Men Heal. The author of the book, Tom Golden, has been exploring, writing, and speaking on the subject of male grief for many years. In his review, Andy shares a personal experience that illustrates how the taboo against male grief is often enforced, not only for the man who is grieving, but for any other man or boy who might be watching:

The day after my Dad died, I was speaking to a friend of his when I broke down and cried briefly — I was interrupted by a woman who had known my father, but who did not know me. She asked, what would my 4 year old niece think if she saw me crying?, while handing me a tissue I did not want. Had I been a woman, no doubt she would have put her arm around me, but as a man I was politely told to “man up” — my pain was embarrassing her.

As someone who has a certain awareness of society’s different expectations for men and women, this experience came as no great surprise to me. For young minds, such experiences are painful however, and quickly teach young boys that “real men don’t cry.” They learn how to keep their pain to themselves.

Again, this is a story that will no doubt resonate powerfully and personally with a lot of men. You can find out more about Tom Golden’s book, The Way Men Heal, here.

Male Grief: No Longer an Alien Concept?
I hope these excerpts will encourage you to read the full posts and learn more about the male experience of grief in all its aspects. I recall being quite mystified 30 years ago when I was first introduced to the subject via the work of Robert Bly, John Lee, and Dan Jones. They all emphasized the critical importance of a man’s awareness of his own grief, his conscious relationship with it, and his ability to feel it and to allow it to move through him so that his natural energy and innate masculine power would not be blocked and withheld, both from himself and the world.

At the time, all that talk of grief mystified me. I didn’t have any idea what it was. I was keenly aware that I was angry, frustrated, lonely, sad, depressed … but I had no sense of any grief. I didn’t really understand what grief was or how it might feel. It seemed completely abstract to me, completely foreign. Perplexed, I wrote the poem “grief” (found in my book Iron Man Family Outing) one day as a way of trying to figure out what this grief that I kept hearing about might be.

After many years of hard work, I understand. I’m far from fully comfortable with my own grief, but it’s no longer an alien concept to me. I hope to see the day when male grief is no longer an alien concept to other men, and to the women around them, as well.

Complete Article HERE!

Why You Need A Death Certificate When Someone Dies

by Davis Grey

A Death Certificate

Do you think that a death certificate is just another piece of bureaucratic paperwork you have to take care of? Think again. While it might seem like it’s just one more hassle during an incredibly difficult time for you and your family, the reality is a death certificate is a crucial document to have, especially if you’re an estate executor. Let’s find out why, and how to go about getting one.

The Link Between A Death Certificate And Proof of Death

Put quite simply, a death certificate proves that someone has died. While it might seem crazy that you need to prove that a loved one has passed away, think about all of the ways people could use their death to get out of obligations. Between tax and debt evasion alone, there are a whole host of reasons why someone might want to pass off as dead. Or, on the flip side, ill-meaning individuals can take advantage of someone’s estate if all they have to do is claim a person has died.

Thanks to death certificates, authorities can be reasonably assured that an individual has truly passed and steps can be taken to liquidate an estate.

The Link Between A Death Certificate And Estate Execution

On a more day-to-day level, there is a standard reason that death certificates are issued: they are necessary for someone to be appointed as your estate executor.

Estate executors are intrusted with dispersing your estate and following your last will’s wishes, which means making sure your debts are paid off and your beneficiaries receive their inheritance. A big piece of this is getting in touch with assorted parties like financial institutions, insurance companies, the social security administration, and the Veterans Administration (if applicable) and closing your accounts, paying outstanding bills, and accessing your assets. These institutions will not speak with you unless they have proof that the individual has died and that you are entrusted with their estate. As you can guess, the death certificate is the vital proof you need that your loved one has died, and opens the door for executors to complete their responsibilities.

The Link Between A Death Certificate And Digital Accounts

Many people today have digital accounts with a whole host of providers. Think Facebook, Google, Amazon, and even online dating sites. When a loved one dies you’ll likely want to close these accounts. Sometimes it’s to stop digital notices, other times it’s to ensure no future charges are made to your loved one’s bank or credit card accounts.

Just like financial institutions, many of these digital institutions require a death certificate to prove the account holder has died. Don’t believe us? Just read these past articles on closing a Facebook or a Google account. Sure enough, these major sites want to see a death certificate before they even speak with you.

How To Get The Death Certificate

As we wrote about in more detail, the actual responsibility of filing for a death certificate is generally in the hands of the person preparing the body like a funeral director or crematory. It is just as easy to request one death certificate as it is to request twenty. Or, you can always try VitalChek and have them get it for you. Now that you see how many different institutions will want to see one, you can understand why you’re better off asking for more right off the bat. With a whole bunch handy, you can more easily cross of your estate executor to-do list.

Complete Article HERE!

Philosophy of Everyday Life: What are the lessons people most often learn too late in life?

By Evan Asano


Learn how to listen. So few people can really listen and so many people genuinely appreciate when you do.

Learn when it’s time to move on. From jobs, people and relationships. Not everything is fixable. Cut your losses and move on.

None of the best experiences of your life will happen staring a computer screen, a phone screen or a TV. If you want more of the best experiences of your life minimize the time you spend in front of these three.

Take great care of your body. It’s delicate and becomes more so as you get older, but if you treat it well, it will treat you well. Exercise regularly, stretch or do yoga, eat wholesome food.

Take great care of your mind. Foster curiosity, read, learn and grow. Learn to be quiet, meditate and spend time in nature regularly.

Take great care of your heart. When you hold onto harmful emotions like anger, hurt, pain, you really only hurt yourself. When you practice love, compassion and generosity, your heart expands and grows.

You’ll spend too much of your life working, staring at a computer screen and sitting. If you’re going to do all these things, find a work environment or shared purpose that’s fulfilling and creates meaning.

Success comes most readily when you find fulfillment and create value in the world.

Learn how to compliment people and do so regularly. There’s no limit on how many compliments you can offer, there’s no scarcity of compliments available and there’s no end to how much people will appreciate them.

Learn how to accept a compliment and do so whenever one is offered. You’re conditioned to deflect compliments. Recognize how you do this and practice recognizing and accepting when the universe acknowledges what you do.

Learn how to be generous. You can’t attract what you don’t give. Share your knowledge, your time, your thoughts, your wisdom, and your charity.

Learn how to be patient.

Practice gratitude. Everyday.

Great stories come from great experiences. Chase those experiences.

It’s not that time moves by faster as you get older, you just start to have fewer new and captivating experiences. If you can continue those experiences and expand your curiosity, time won’t feel like it flies by as so commonly described.

Complete Article HERE!

Veterans serving Veteran patients create a healing connection

By elyzabethanne

Vietnam War Veteran John Eilers
Pictured with Vietnam War Veteran John Eilers are, from left, Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Jimmy Richard, Marine Corps Veteran Nicole Richard and Army Sgt. Daiana Wininger.

Nicole Richard is kind of in awe.

Well, as she is a former Marine Corps Staff Sergeant, maybe it is more appropriate to say shock and awe.

To provide a bit of background, Richard has a certain niche when it comes to volunteering. “Kids and the elderly, to me, are really close to God,” Richard said.

As a single woman serving in the Marine Corps in Okinawa, she would sign up through the chaplain to serve in the community. It was something she did throughout her 11-year military career, working with the elderly and school children overseas in Japan, Thailand and Korea. She left military service in 2012.

In 2015, she called Diane Sancilio, the Director of Volunteer Services at Hospice of the Chesapeake, to find a way to serve seniors. When Sancilio learned she was talking with a Marine Corps Veteran, she told her about the Veteran-to-Veteran volunteer program that pairs volunteers with military experience with hospice patients who also served. After her spiel, Sancilio heard nothing on the other end of the phone. She even had to ask if Richard was still on the line.

“I was in shock about this because I didn’t even know it existed,” Richard said. She couldn’t believe that there was an opportunity for her to not only care for elderly hospice patients – but also fellow Veterans. It was kismet.

The 33-year-old mother of three from Annapolis threw herself into volunteering. She has done much of her work performing Reiki therapy at the Inpatient Care Center in Pasadena. And though she has served many patients who aren’t Veterans, she said when she works with those who have served, they feel an instant connection, “We all hold those same values, even the families,” she said. “A lot of time, these Veterans, at the end of their life, all they need to transition is to share their story, and for us to give them that welcome home that they didn’t get. They have sacrificed so much.”

The Vet-to-Vet program is part of the We Honor Veterans Program, a collaboration of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Department of Veterans Affairs. Program partners like Hospice of the Chesapeake use resources and education provided by the NHPCO and the VA to help Veteran Volunteers care for Veteran patients and their families. With more than 25 percent of Hospice of the Chesapeake patients having served in the military the need for Patient Care Volunteers who also are Veterans is growing.

Many Veteran Volunteers take it to the next level of volunteer after performing an Honor Salute for a Veteran patient. The brief but moving ceremony takes place in the patient’s home or at his or her bedside. It demonstrates a tremendous respect for the patient while also serving as an intimate moment for all involved. Richard tells of her first Honor Salute. The patient’s daughter said he had become sullen and unresponsive, and she didn’t think he would talk. Upon learning the patient was a fellow Marine, she asked her husband to join them. Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Jimmy Richard is still in active duty, assigned to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

The minute he saw the Richards in their uniforms, the patient perked up.

“He talked so much. We used our terminology – oorah, semper fidelis — and he was smiling, telling us about his unit, where he served, and what he’s done,” Nicole said.

Before leaving, Jimmy removed the pin from his cover and gave it to the man. There were tears all around.

The moment cemented the purpose of having the program Nicole. “He wouldn’t talk to others, but he was open to talking to us because we understand, the terminology, the values — honor, courage and commitment” she said.

She said the families will sometimes roll their eyes as a patient starts telling “another” war story. “But (Veterans) get it. It heals us, too. We have our own mental and physical wounds. Just listening to somebody else kind of helps heal us, too.”

Nicole is still a bit in awe.

“I am still digesting this is here. And I am excited to be learning more. I thought it was amazing to volunteer at the Veterans Day event,” she said, adding that the Veterans she helped at the ceremony, which included an opportunity for Veterans to talk about their service, shared her surprise.

“They are in shock about it, too,” she said. “They are thinking, ‘they shared my story, they understand, they honor me’.”

Complete Article HERE!

Doctors should be trained in art of ‘diagnosing death’


Diagnosing death
‘Diagnosing death’ would prevent unnecessary distress at the end of life.

Doctors need to be trained in the art of “diagnosing” death to prevent unnecessary distress at the end of life, an expert has claimed.

Dr Erna Haraldsdottir, a senior lecturer at Queen Margaret’s University, in Musselburgh, called for a shake-up of thinking on medical intervention for the dying after watching her elderly father-in-law die in hospital.

The 84-year-old had been diagnosed with dementia five years beforehand and his family watched his gradual decline until he was admitted to hospital. Although he was elderly and very frail, doctors attempted to discharge him at one point and tried to resuscitate him as a “do not resuscitate” note had not been arranged.

Doctors were also reluctant to issue a death certificate as they were unsure of his cause of death.

Writing in the European Journal of Palliative Care, Dr Haraldsdottir said doctors need to change their mindsets over when patients need medical intervention and try to “diagnose” death.

Dr Haraldsdottir, who also leads a pioneering research programme at St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh, said: “In my own experience, our family believed my father-in-law had a good death, however what was noticeable was the staff’s lack of insight into the situation and understanding of what was happening.

“This caused the family unnecessary upset and distress – which could have been avoided if the medical team had applied the principles of palliative care to the assessment and care.”

Ministers unveiled a five-year plan to put palliative care at the heart of the NHS in December and to ensure a greater openness around death and dying.

It comes after a Glasgow researchers found falling numbers of Scots were dying at home, despite many saying it was what they wanted.

It is more important than ever for hospices to be leading the way when it comes to developing care around death and dying, said Dr Duncan Brown, medical director at St Columba’s Hospice.

Complete Article HERE!

“Hospitals are not a good place to die”

End-of-life doula Anna Lyons on why we need to rethink our attitudes to death


holding hands

I’ve been with the dying many times, both in a personal capacity and as a health care professional. As an end-of-life doula my work is centred around supporting people and their families at end of life. My experiences have led me to agree wholeheartedly with the BMA in its recent report: hospitals are not the best place to die.

An overwhelming majority of us want to die at home, yet statistics show the reality is that 54% of us will die in hospital. But in my opinion, hospices are for the dying. Home is for the dying. Hospitals are not. The raison d’etre of end of life care is to help people experience a ‘good death’. We will remember how someone we love dies forever. The impact of a bad death is far-reaching. Candy Chang, creator of the ‘Before I Die‘ wall, a global art project that invites people to reflect on their lives and share their personal aspirations on a public wall, describes the fallout as creating ‘circles of mayhem’ for generations.

What is a good death?

Every person will have a different idea about what would constitute a good death for themselves or their family. Much of the debate over end-of-life care comes down to two questions:

  1. Is a good death one where the medical team did everything to save a life?
  2. Is this still true if there is little chance or no of a happy outcome?

Culturally, we have always seen a good death as one we have ‘fought’ against. It may be time to consider otherwise. Many treatments are aggressive and futile, robbing the last remaining quality of life a patient has.

Perhaps a good death is the accepted one. One where the dying person is in control, can be at home, can have their pain and symptoms managed. End of life care must be entirely individualised and person-centred, only then can we begin to offer the excellent end of life care that everyone deserves.


The refusal of a medical team to end active treatment to the detriment of the patient was exemplified in the death of a very close friend of mine. They threw everything they had at giving him longer than his twenty-something years. They didn’t give up ‘actively’ treating him until the end. He died clinging to the belief that he was going to live. That last precious year of his life was a tragic mess of chemotherapy, life-prolonging operations and colourless hospital wards. The treatment had destroyed the very essence of who he was, long before his heart played out its final beats.

I believe if we discussed end of life issues regularly, we wouldn’t find them so tricky to broach. Issues about death and dying should be taught in schools as part of the PSHE syllabus from primary and onwards. During Year 13 tutor time when we teach young adults to fill in job application forms, we should also be filling in advance directives with them.

Issues with control at the end

In a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UK was crowned the best in the world for provision of end-of-life care. The author of the report, however, said that there is room for improvement, especially in symptom control and communication. Could this improvement be guided not by government policy or hospital administration, but by changing the way we look at death?

The recent BMA report concluded that some doctors continue to treat the dying when active treatment is no longer of any benefit. One reason it suggested was because of pressure from the patient and their loved ones. This is understandable – it is often too difficult to let go of the ones we love. The report also stated it is because if doctors acknowledge there’s nothing more that can be done, that they’re admitting defeat.


I knew a woman worked with the dying so when she was dying, although she knew there was nothing that could be done, she didn’t want to die. She wasn’t ready: she had a life to lead, a world to see and children to watch grow and guide. She was looked after by the same medical team she had worked alongside for many years. They couldn’t let her die either. If they let her die, they would have failed one of their own. They had to try, even though they knew it was futile. They couldn’t give up, even though they knew the treatment she would most likely shorten her life, not extend it. Her original prognosis with palliative care had given her up to a year. She died two weeks into aggressive treatment, four weeks after her initial diagnosis.

We should not see the death of a dying patient as a failure. Death is not the loss of a battle. Death is a natural part of life. If we could see it that way, we might be able to approach it differently. Our goal should be helping someone live as good a life as possible right up until the very end. No one will ever experience a “good death” if our focus is active treatment at all costs.

senior woman

The report set out that treatment at end-of-life should be ‘appropriate and proportionate’. Dying with care, deference and dignity, and on our own terms is the very least we should be able to offer. A lady I worked with lived an incredibly full life: alone and happy. She went dancing and played snooker. She cooked everything from scratch everyday. Her breathlessness became untenable and she finally went to the doctor. She had cancer, which was slow to progress even though she chose a palliative care pathway. She accepted her life-limiting prognosis with the wisdom of one who knew herself well and contemplated mortality more often than many. She died in a hospice, surrounded by her family. Hers was a peaceful death. Peaceful and on her own terms.

One aspect of the report that I feel most strongly about is that doctors should be receiving training and CPD on communication and how best to have difficult conversations. One junior doctor who was interviewed for the report said: “I found it very difficult to talk to patients about dying, prior to working in a hospice, because…as a junior doctor we’re not taught very much…”

A shift in thinking

We all have to take responsibility for communication and the decisions we make. It’s terribly difficult when we’re unwell and vulnerable to hear these truths. If we’ve never considered end-of-life until our own life’s end it’s no wonder we find it so hard. If we discussed these issues regularly we wouldn’t find them so hard. We need to break down the ingrained cultural barriers that prevent us from talking about death and dying

Let’s all take on that responsibility. Let’s talk about it: openly and without fear. It’s too much to have that conversation for the first time when we are facing death. It’s much easier to talk about it while we’re living a healthy life.
We need to ask ourselves what is a good death for us.

Why do we value quantity over quality of time? Why do we cling so dearly to the notion that a life well lived is the longest? Sometimes doing nothing is the most courageous path. Sometimes accepting there’s nothing left that can be done is the bravest choice. Some may describe such a decision as “giving up”. Pursuing treatment until the very end, on the other hand, is lauded as “being a fighter”.

doctor and patient

Do these words,”battle” and “fight”, compound medical teams’ feelings of failure when an unavoidable and imminent death is in front of them? Changing our language may help us to change the way we think. Illness and death are a part of life. Loss is not a failure: not ours, and not our doctors’. Perhaps redesigning our expectations and language at end of life could begin with Paul Kalanithi’s beautiful words:“The physician’s duty is not to stave off death or return patients to their old lives, but to take into our arms a patient and family whose lives have disintegrated and work until they can stand back up and face, and make sense of, their own existence.” If they did, I believe death and dying could be a richer and better experience for everyone involved.

Complete Article HERE!

With Fear, Determination And Poetry: How Great Writers Face Death

By The NPR Staff

Maurice Sendak
Children’s book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who died in 2012, spent much of his life obsessed with death. In 2011 he told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross: “There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”

Katie Roiphe’s preoccupation with death goes back to her childhood, when she contracted virulent pneumonia at the age of 12. She was sick for a year and thought she was going to die.

Her terror of death was reignited many years later when her father died. It was then that Riophe found herself turning to great minds to see how they confronted mortality.

She initially told herself that she wanted to “understand it better,” she tells NPR’s Melissa Block, but she soon realized that was a lie. “I was actually trying to see it,” she explains. “It sounds really simple, but it’s actually a very difficult thing to do. So that was my goal, to sort of focus in really closely on the final days of these writers and thinkers, and just look.”John Updike

In The Violet Hour, Roiphe describes the last days of Sigmund Freud, James Salter, Maurice Sendak, Susan Sontag, John Updike and Dylan Thomas. She talks with Block about how these writers and thinkers accepted, or railed against, their fate.

Interview Highlights

On John Updike, who wrote poems in the hospital after being diagnosed with lung cancer

It was amazing. He had very little time — just weeks before he was dead. I actually went up and looked at the manuscripts and you can see in his handwriting how arduous it was. At that last moment, when most people would just be watching television or railing against the universe, that was what he did and I found it very moving. …

The poems have a sort of quality of reporting — that he’s bringing news. And he talks about writing as turning pain into honey, which I find a really beautiful way to think about what writers do: taking this incredibly awful — maybe the most awful thing that can happen to you — and turning it into honey just with words.

On Susan Sontag, who endured brutal treatments for cancer

She had written so eloquently about the importance of not turning illness into a metaphor — of not embellishing and fantasizing and being really realistic and rational when it comes to your own illness — and she was unable to do that ironically in her own life. …Susan Sontag

She thought to herself she would be the exception even to the rule of mortality. That somehow, as she had with her earlier cancers famously, she was going to defeat death in some way. And even though the odds were against her — she was 71-years-old getting a bone marrow transplant — even in those situations, she felt this time she wouldn’t die.

At the one hand, it’s the opposite of a good death, it’s almost the anatomy of how you don’t want to die. On the other hand, I did see something kind of heroic in the power and force of her will.

On how mortality was a constant companion for writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak

He was certainly preoccupied with death for his entire life, and one of the things that fascinated me about him is the way, in his art and famous children’s books, he worked on this problem year after year. Like when his parents died, or when his brother died, he just kept working on this problem and worked it through in drawing after drawing and draft after draft. And he sort of came out freeing himself to a certain extent from this obsession. He was very depressed at certain points of his life and he used his art as a way of countering that. It was a sort of medication for that almost.

On Sendak owning John Keats’ death mask

It’s really very beautiful. When I saw it — he has it in a guest room with a blue bedspread — there are kind of stuffed animals on the bed. It’s a very bizarre scene and very Sendak, and I thought to myself, “Who would ever want to own Keats’s death mask?”The Violet Hour

And then I looked at it and I realized I knew exactly why you’d want to own Keats’ desk mask: Because in a way what I was doing in this book was writing death masks. That urge to preserve the moment, and Annie Leibovitz did it with her famous photographs of Sontag, and Sendak himself drew the people he loved: his partner of many, many years after he died, and his family members right before they died.

There’s something about capturing that moment in art that I actually do completely understand — both the reason you’d make Keats’ death mask and the reason you’d want to own it.

On her idea of what a “good” death would be

I feel like the thing that mostly happened with this book is I came away marginally less afraid, which sounds like not that a big deal. But given my panic about death at various points in my life, [this] was liberating to me. In terms of a good death, I did feel that this prolonged medical struggle of a Susan Sontag where you’re chasing after any possibility of medical salvation seemed like not a good idea, and the way of working your way into accepting what’s happening the way Sendak did and the way Updike did seems preferable to me.

But one doesn’t always have control, and that was one of the things I really realized in writing about these deaths.

Complete Article HERE!