From an awe-inspiring Ted talk by B.J. Miller, a man for whom an accident was life changing, to a heart-wrenching note left for his parents by the young boy who lost his life to a deadly amoeba, this week’s news was filled with inspiration. We learned of a new show slated for the OWN network that will explore how death impacts life, and we discovered how crows mourn their dead.
Weekly News 10/4/2015: Learning about life and death.
Oct 3, 2015–nationalgeographic.com: Many who have heard the melancholy cry of the mourning dove might wonder: Do birds grieve for their loved ones? For this Saturday’s Weird Animal Question of the Week Emilie Bouef commented via Facebook: “I heard that ravens do some kind of funeral when one of them dies. I’d love to know more about this.” Calling to each other, gathering around, and paying special attention to a fallen comrade is common among the highly intelligent corvids… Read the full story
Oct 3, 2015–Death and Transfiguration,” a 25-minute tone poem by Richard Strauss, is the type of entertainment I’ve tried to avoid since becoming a hospice nurse. I worry it will make me feel the job too deeply in my time off. But this performance was by the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, in which my son plays first violin, so we went… Read the full story
Oct 2, 2015–3drs.org: Planning a funeral after the death of a loved one is already an intensely difficult and emotional affair, yet imagine doing so with the burden of knowing that graveyards are in limited supply, and the cost of a single plot can be as high as $62,000 (400,000 RMB). China has the largest population of all countries, yet the morbid counter-fact is that they also have to deal with the growing problem of urban death and a lack of graveyard space for proper burials. Though an uncommon practice today, funeral platform Yiko is trying to promote cremation as a more affordable and sustainable alternative by offering customers personalized, 3D printed urns… Read the full story
Oct 2, 2015–goodmenproject.com: Instinct is perhaps one of the most primitive yet useful assets known to man. It helps us sense trepidation, fear and even danger. It lets us know when we come to a crossroad in life–and when to weigh our odds. Instinct is a vital component of mankind’s moral compass, and if we break one small part of it, our world changes. Maybe for a short time–maybe forever. What happens, however, when one’s moral compass does get broken? How far will you go to fix it—and what price will you be willing to pay along the way… Read the full story
Oct 2, 2015–abcnews.net.au: Strange, 23, found fame at age 17 when he became the youngest person to climb the so-called Seven Summits, referring to the highest peak on each continent. Strange died after jumping from a 2,000-metre summit in the Swiss canton of Uri wearing a wingsuit, a piece of equipment that resembles human-size bat wings. He crashed into the ground, likely after losing control mid-jump, authorities in Uri said… Read the full story
NFDA Releases Results of 2015 Member General Price List Survey
Oct 1, 2015–nfda.org: The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) released the results of its latest Member General Price List Study today, which includes the median cost of a funeral with burial. For the first time, the report includes a calculation of the median cost of a funeral with cremation… Read the full story
Sep 29, 2015–cachevalleydaily.com: A devastating flash flood tore through Colorado City and parts of Hildale, Utah, this September, taking 20 lives. By Friday, September 25, rescuers and police had recovered the bodies of 19 victims. But sadly, officials were still combing the area looking for one more — six-year-old Tyson Black. For the families of the other 19 victims, the past week has been a time for funerals, grief, and memorial services. One California couple, who lost their lives in Zion National Park, were transported with an honor guard all the way home to… Read the full story
Sep 28, 2015–abcnews.com: After finding a note from her 6-year-old son who died from an amoebic infection last week, a mother took to Facebook to post a message in his honor. Leland Shoemake was receiving treatment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta after being infected with an amoeba called Balamuthia mandrillaris that infected his brain. He died on Friday, according a Facebook page called Prayers for Leland… Read the full story
Sep 28, 2015–dailymail.co.uk: On the western bank of the Ganges in the ancient city of Varanasi, the fires of the Manikarnika Ghats have been burning for thousands of years. This holy city, in Uttar Pradesh, India, is the most sacred place on earth for Hindus and it is believed that if a person’s ashes are scattered here then their soul will finally achieve nirvana (moksha). But to liberate the soul, the worn-out body must first be burned… Read the full story
Sep 27, 2015–examiner.com: How will you look back when you reach the end of your days? How will you consider the life you have lived? Will you come to the revelation of how much you have grown, and how you have overcome fears? Will you see your life as a school where you learned of the healing and inspiring influence of unconditional love? There is in fact nothing more certain than the inescapable certainty of death. Knowing this we do sometimes turn our attention to what impact our life might have after our death… Read the full story