Death

Courtesy St. Martin's Press

Haider Warraich is only 29 years old, but he is no stranger to death. Throughout his training as a doctor, he has witnessed the death of multiple patients. Warraich was trained in the appropriate medical response to death but remained stumped by a multitude of bigger questions about the process, such as what role does religion play in a hospital, and how does social media change how we process death and dying?  

Cover image for Death Faire
Courtesy of Tami Schwerin

Death and spirits are part of conversations this week more than most other times of the year. On Monday, many donned costumes of ghosts and goblins to celebrate Halloween, and yesterday others around the world gathered for festivals and celebrations to mark the first day of El Dia de Los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that honors the dead. But talking about death and dying is usually more taboo. While everyone experiences grief, illness, and death, these experiences are often kept private, discussed only with close friends and families.

Frank Stasio and Stimp Hawkins share a laugh as Frank tries out the cremation casket.
Ivan Saul Cutler

Retired minister Stimp Hawkins wants to say goodbye before it is too late. The 81-year-old, who has DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) tattooed brazenly across his chest, spends a lot of time thinking about the end of his life and his eventual death.

He hosts monthly meetings called “Café Mortal” and “Death Café” in Greensboro for people to discuss issues related to death and end-of-life concerns. Hawkins recently celebrated his death wish at a decoration party for his cremation casket.

Maureen, her dad and their dog Rusty in 1968.
Maureen Sherbondy

In this first week of 2016, many people are reflecting on the good and bad moments of the past year and what resolutions they have for the coming months. For poet Maureen Sherbondy this meditation on change is an important and ongoing process that served as the inspiration for her latest collection of poetry, “The Art of Departure.”

In the first half of the collection, she explores the many ways one deals with losses like death, divorce, and children leaving the home. And in the second half, she looks at how people come to terms with their new lives after drastic change.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Note: This is a rebroadcast from earlier this year.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

He has produced more than a dozen documentaries exploring race, death, violence and the American psyche. His work has earned him an Emmy, a Peabody, and a litany of other documentary awards.

pugetsound.va.gov/

Combat veterans often struggle at the end of life with feelings of guilt, abandonment and regret. For some dying service members and their families, a military hospital is a place where they can make those last days meaningful.

Host Frank Stasio talks with KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy about end of life care for our nation’s soldiers.

Hands being held.
flickr.com/photos/mabeljuillet/

How do we die?

For some death comes suddenly, and there is no time for preparation, but for others death slowly creeps up on us. Though it is inevitable, we often avoid the opportunity to prepare for it.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

Theatre In The Park

A new play premiering at Raleigh's Theatre In The Park encourages viewers to question their notions of love, truth and sexuality. 

Image of the cover of The Story of Land and Sea, a debut novel by historian Katy Simpson Smith.
Katy Simpson Smith

    

At the end of the 18th century it was very common for women to die during childbirth.