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A Wake Alive

Yolanda Reid Chassiakos | Posted 09.08.2015 | Healthy Living
Yolanda Reid Chassiakos

The invitation arrived on Facebook. "A Celebration of Life." Our dear friend and colleague, a beloved alcohol and drug counselor, was losing her heroic battle with cancer.

What I Learned From My Mom As We Planned Her Funeral

Chester Goad, Ed.D. | Posted 08.12.2015 | Healthy Living
Chester Goad, Ed.D.

I was honored to know my mom and I'm grateful she let me share in her journey. It was a bittersweet gift filled with life lessons. I was lying on the sofa beside her at her home when she took her final breaths, and though it was of course a time of grief, she made sure we were ready.

The Most Popular Tunes For Boomer Funerals

Roz Warren | Posted 05.18.2015 | Fifty
Roz Warren

Monty Python's "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life" recently beat out Frank Sinatra's "My Way" as the song most people choose to have played at their funerals. I'm guessing that we Boomers can take credit for this. Inspired, I asked my Facebook pals to help me put together a playlist.

Nearly 1,000 Strangers Attend Homeless Veteran's Funeral In Oklahoma City

The Huffington Post | Robbie Couch | Posted 05.04.2015 | Impact

Hundreds of people showed up to Jerry Billings' funeral last Friday, but not a single person in attendance had ever met the Oklahoma City veteran. ...

Let Them Eat Cake, In Memory of Mike

Mindy Trotta | Posted 06.30.2015 | Fifty
Mindy Trotta

It wouldn't really be fair to judge someone's character based upon the number of people who show up at their funeral, but if a line of mourners forms at 4:00 p.m. and you can't see the end until 8:00 p.m., it's hard not to believe that whomever they're there for was a pretty special person.

One Rabbi's Response to the Chapel Hill Shootings

Rabbi Eric Solomon | Posted 05.24.2015 | Religion
Rabbi Eric Solomon

Originally, I had grand visions of how our Muslim-Jewish dialogue would change the world. But, suddenly, on a soccer field turned funeral chapel, I realized that "world-changing" was beside the point. I was there simply to deliver God's love to friends in agonizing pain.

'Let Jim Run His Own Funeral' - Irish Laughter Through Tears

Kevin Walsh | Posted 05.17.2015 | Detroit
Kevin Walsh

From picking the casket that matched the paneling in our family room to the blue blazer winning in five consecutive coin tosses over the grey suit, my dad did run his own funeral and it became, like his mother's seven years earlier, a joyful celebration with tears, but plenty of laughter.

Help? Can ANYONE Teach Me to Sing?

Hilary Wilce | Posted 03.22.2015 | Education
Hilary Wilce

Why can't I do what most other people seem to find so easy? Why can't I simply learn to sing, and then sing better than I did before? And hold on to it?

Call the Undertaker, I'm Dying Here

Rachael Oakes-Ash | Posted 03.16.2015 | Healthy Living
Rachael Oakes-Ash

If you think sitting with a parent and helping them to write their funeral is depressing, it doesn't have to be. Mum and I sang and made black humor-infested jokes and looked back on what her life had meant to her and how she wanted that conveyed.

9 Questions to Ask Friends and Family at Thanksgiving

Wayne Meisel | Posted 01.26.2015 | Religion
Wayne Meisel

So, what to talk about at Thanksgiving dinner, when you are sitting indoors because the bad weather canceled the touch football game, washing dishes, or watching an NFL blowout?

Why We Should Remember To Treat Every Day Like A Special Occasion

Elaine Ambrose | Posted 01.09.2015 | Fifty
Elaine Ambrose

In 1969, my father traveled to Japan on a business trip and brought back an elegant silk robe as a gift for my mother. They had been high school sweethearts. He was the gregarious student body president and she was the timid valedictorian. He wasn't one for giving gifts and she wasn't comfortable accepting them.

Lessons I Learned From My Mother

Elaine Ambrose | Posted 01.04.2015 | Good News
Elaine Ambrose

Mom didn't want or need to support or condemn the gay lifestyle or any lifestyle, for that matter. Instead, she chose to follow the teaching of Jesus and endorsed his commandment to "Love one another."

What Celebrity Body Parts Have Been Exhumed? This Week's Weird Podcast Will Tell You

The Huffington Post | Sebastian Murdock | Posted 11.06.2014 | Weird News

It's our most metal podcast yet. As the spookiest holiday of the year draws over us like a dark shadow, the Weird News crew and special guest autho...

My Grandmother Is, and Will Forever Be, a Proud Woman

Madeline Wahl | Posted 12.29.2014 | Women
Madeline Wahl

My grandmother will forever be a proud woman. She had such pride for her family and friends, her children and grandchildren, her nieces and nephew and everyone in between. My grandmother, ever the socialite, would take me by the hand and introduce me to her friends.

Photographing The Toughest Of Moments With Shaun Connell

Michael Ernest Sweet | Posted 12.01.2014 | Arts
Michael Ernest Sweet

All Photographs Copyright Shaun Connell We don't often see photographs of funerals. I guess most people are there to grieve and likely are not in th...

Sorry, Joan, the Script Didn't Get There in Time

Nancy Cohen-koan | Posted 11.07.2014 | Comedy
Nancy Cohen-koan

Forget doctors -- forget lawyers. How many lives could have been saved if only my screenplay had gotten into the right hands in a timely fashion? A f...

The Brief Sum of Life...

Paul Vale | Posted 09.06.2014 | Healthy Living
Paul Vale

I walked to my mother's funeral on my own. There was no procession, no ride in a hearse; just a stroll from an empty hotel room to the crematorium, a functional brick outhouse circled by ornate grounds with small birds moving between the headstones.

Jaweed Kaleem

Lights, Camera, Mortician! The Rise of 'Fun Funerals' | Jaweed Kaleem | Posted 07.05.2014 | Religion

When a friend and fellow mortician died a decade ago, Teddy Lee received an unusual request. By most measures, the widow said, it was to be a standard...

10 Ways to Love a Grieving Friend

Billi Gordon, Ph.D. | Posted 08.09.2014 | Healthy Living
Billi Gordon, Ph.D.

Unless it is a cultural taboo, do not shy away from mentioning the dead person's name or talking about the situation. If he or she had been arrested, you would use their name and talk about the details. A horrible thing has happened, and many people are hurting.

How I Celebrated The Passage Of Time At The Funeral Of An Old Friend

Laurie Lesser | Posted 05.01.2014 | Fifty
Laurie Lesser

'Damn!' I said, as I put down the phone, feeling terribly sorry for myself. I couldn't believe I was going to miss the funeral of a good friend, a woman who went by the name of Sputnik. (She was born in India on October 4, 1957, the day the Russians launched the first satellite in space.)

10 Thoughts in Defense of Funeral Selfies -- From a Funeral Director

Caleb Wilde | Posted 04.29.2014 | Technology
Caleb Wilde

Even as a funeral director, I myself once felt uncomfortable with the idea of deathbed/funeral selfies. But as I've seen more and more people take these photos, I've slowly become more open.

Can We Help Children Understand the Concept of Death?

Diana Grycan | Posted 03.29.2014 | Parents
Diana Grycan

When I told my 6-year-old grandson that I couldn't come to his soccer game on Sunday, he asked me why. I wondered if I should make up an excuse or simply tell him the truth. I opted for the latter.

You Take My Breath Away: the Sociology of Death

Galanty Miller | Posted 03.27.2014 | Comedy
Galanty Miller

Psychologists explain the five stages of death, five emotional experiences that a person goes through upon being informed that the end of his or her l...

8 Funerals That Showed Us The True Emotion Of A Nation In Mourning

Posted 01.25.2014 | World

Tens of thousands of mourners gathered in South Africa on Tuesday, braving the cold and the rain to bid farewell to the unforgettable Nelson Mandela. ...

Couple Of 65 Years Dies Six Hours Apart, Unaware Of Each Other's Passing

Posted 12.05.2013 | Weddings

Frank and Eleanor Turner were married for nearly 65 years before they died six hours apart late last month -- unaware of each other's passing. A pi...