This week’s news was dominated by shocking celebrity deaths as we said goodbye to rock icon David Bowie, film great Alan Rickman, and music superstar Glenn Frey. For many of us, the losses were significant not just because the world of the arts lost special luminaries, but because the work produced by these men created special touchpoints in our lives.
Even if you were not a fan of David Bowie’s music, it is impossible not to be dazzled by his creativity. The depth of Alan Rickman’s talent is hard for many of us to imagine, despite witnessing it on the big screen. Whether it was he chilled your spine when he spoke in that one-of-a-kind voice, or how he made us laugh, his death leaves a void on both stage and screen.
Regardless of your age, it is unlikely that you do not have a special memory attached to a song written or sung by Glenn Frey. His music marked the soundtrack of many of our lives. We bid adieu to other well-known celebrities this week as well. Among these were René Angélil and Dan Haggarty. Let’s hope that the rest of the year doesn’t follow the pace set in early January.
|STARS WE LOST THIS WEEK|
Weekly News 1/18/16: Celebrity deaths abound.
1/20/2016: ozy.com: For someone so young and sprightly, 24-year-old William Jack Murphy spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about his demise. Based on the stats, he figures colon cancer or a heart attack could get him in the end, and his last breath will probably be mid-sentence during a conversation about cyborgs. But mostly he’s focused on the radical ways he’ll evade the Grim Reaper’s unwelcome scythe altogether. Yes, there is an app for that, one that will preserve his online data — texts, timelines, tweets and all — before it crumbles into digital dust… Read the full story
British doctor who works with terminally ill people thanks David Bowie for helping open up a conversation about death
1/18/2016: usnews.com: A British doctor who works with terminally ill people has thanked David Bowie for helping open up a conversation about death. Bowie died of cancer Jan. 10 aged 69 and Dr. Mark Taubert says it helped him speak to one dying cancer patient about how to have “a good death.” In a blog on the British Medical Journal website, Taubert said Bowie’s story “became a way for us to communicate very openly about death… Read the full story
- Related: How death brought David Bowie a career breakthrough
- Related: David Bowie’s Son Breaks Social Media Silence to Share Emotional Thank You Letter from Palliative Care Physician
- Related: David Bowie and the sad, inspiring history of making art while dying
- Related: Palliative Care Doctor Writes To David Bowie
1/18/2016–huffingtonpost.com: Death is an uncomfortable subject for many folks. Perhaps it’s the severe emotional reaction people have to death — especially if it’s someone close — that makes the living act in bizarre ways. Or, maybe it’s because death’s process is not well understood that causes normally rational individuals to believe in irrational concepts… Read the full story
Families Say Hospice Better Than Hospital for Dying Cancer Patients
1/19/2016–health.usnews.com: Families of patients dying of cancer felt their loved one had better care and quality of life when they died in a hospice rather than in a hospital’s intensive care unit, a new study reveals. Relatives reported a better end-of-life experience more often when their loved one received hospice care for more than three days (59 percent) than those who received hospice care for three or fewer days (43 percent). Moreover, only 45 percent of families reported excellent care when the patient was admitted to a hospital intensive care unit (ICU) within 30 days of dying, the researchers found… Read the full story
How We Grieve Our Famous Dead
1/15/2016: howstuffworks.com: Estimates say roughly 150,000 people die per day in the world. But celebrity deaths like David Bowie’s (and now Alan Rickman’s) have a much more noticeable effect on our public mourning process. These “parasocial relationships” come with their own attempts to navigate grief: remembering the deceased, demonstrating our devotion, and compensating for loss while rebuilding in the face of death… Read the full story
1/15/2016: washingtonpost.com: Starting this year, Medicare will, for the first time ever, reimburse physicians for having end-of-life discussions with terminally ill patients. In the ideal scenarios, doctors ask patients to identify how and where they want to spend those final days, and then recommend the best options. Question is, will physicians, as a result, be motivated to initiate more of these crucial conversations? Will patients? And will this long-overdue reform ultimately improve, both clinically and economically, how well the U.S. health care system delivers end-of-life care… Read the full story
1/14/2016: nytimes.com: The painful subjects of mourning and burying the dead are drawing attention at museums and auction houses, while some attractions in the field are reaching the ends of their runs. In the last year the Museum of Death in Los Angeles opened a New Orleans branch, where coffins and autopsy equipment are displayed, and a show at the Palace of Versailles, “The King Is Dead… Read the full story
1/14/2016: telegraph.co.uk: The Grim Reaper has got his work cut out in Sellia in southern Italy, thanks to a decree ordering the village’s elderly and dwindling population to stay in good shape. There are more stray cats and dogs than people on the winding streets of this Calabrian hillside community, where over half of the houses lie empty. But there’s a queue of elderly locals outside the new medical centre… Read the full story