Recommended reading, viewing, and listening
• Podcasts about health, health care, and medical science
• Best adult books on death, dying, loss, and grief
• Children's books about death and loss
• Movies about aging
• Movies about death and dying, loss and grief
• Fiction about aging, illness, and dementia
• Recommended reading lists on this website
• Stories of courage, inspiration, and other coping attitudes
• Just plain interesting!
Clicking on a title will take you to an Amazon.com description of the book and reviews. This is not an endorsement of shopping at Amazon.com (we encourage shopping at your local independent bookstore), but Amazon does have an excellent database. And if you purchase a book after clicking on a link here, the site gets a small referral fee, which helps pay for the Authors Guild server that hosts the site.
Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays with Morrie
Apple, Dennis L. Life After the Death of My Son: What I'm Learning
Ascher, Barbara Lazear. Landscape Without Gravity (about her brother's death from AIDS).
Athill, Margaret. Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir (about her experience with the end of life when, at 91, death is on the horizon)
Babcock, Elise. When Life Becomes Precious: The Essential Guide for Patients, Loved Ones, and Friends of Those Facing Serious Illnesses
Bastian, Sue and Mary Metzger. Fresh Widows: A Conversation (the book) and the blog. Great idea! Have mutual friends introduce you to a widow-buddy, a new friend who is going through what you're going through; you help each other re-enter the world as no-longer-part-of-a-couple, knowing without explanation what each of you is going through.
Beauvoir, Simone de. A Very Easy Death (about the death of her mother)
Bernstein, Judith R. When The Bough Breaks: Forever After the Death of a Son or Daughter (Paperback)
Blackman, Sushila. Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die (108 stories of the ways in which both ancient and modern Hindu, Tibetan Buddhist, and Zen masters faced the end of their lives)
Bolen, Jean Shinoda. Close to the Bone: Life-Threatening Illness As a Soul Journey
Bonanno, George A. The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us About Life After Loss . Bonanno finds "little evidence to support the existence of stages of mourning or the corollary that if the stages aren't followed completely, there's cause for alarm. What Bonanno does find is a natural resilience that guides us through the sadness of loss, and grief, rather than distracting us, actually causes the mind to focus; it also elicits the compassion and concern that humans are hard-wired to offer in response to another's suffering." (PW review)
Boss, Pauline. Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief (about the sense of "frozen grief" that can occur when a loved one is perceived as physically absent but mentally present (because of desertion, divorce, or abduction, or because missing in action) or physically present but mentally or psychologically absent (because of dementia, mental illness, or other forms of mental or emotional loss or injury).
Braestrup, Kate. Here If You Need Me: A True Story
Brener, Anne. Mourning & Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner's Path Through Grief to Healing . Explores "the place where psychology and religious ritual intersect, and the name of that place is Truth." ~ Rabbi Harold Kushner
Brodkey, Harold. This Wild Darkness: The Story of My Death (the story of his confrontation with AIDS)
Brody, Jane. Jane Brody's Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life
Broyard, Anatole. Intoxicated by My Illness (critical illness, in his case from cancer, as a spiritual journey)
Byock, Ira. Dying Well
Butler, Katy. Knocking on Heavens Door. Part memoir, part medical history, an important, interesting, well-researched account of how medical technology aimed at long-drawn-out deaths often creates more suffering than it relieves -- and a passionate argument for a better way of death.
Caine, Lynn. Being a Widow
Callanan, Maggie, and Patricia Kelley. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying
Colby, William A. Unplugged: Reclaiming Our Right to Die in America (making informed end-of-life medical decisions)
Doughty, Caitlin. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory. Her account of employment in a crematorium may persuade you that cremation is better than embalming, makeup, and the traditional funeral and burial.
Davis, Deborah L. Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby
de Hennezel, MarieIntimate Death: How the Dying Teach Us How to Live. A bestseller in France, this book by a psychologist suggests the power of effective palliative care. She recommends playing John Rutter's Faure: Requiem and other choral music for someone who is dying.
Deraniyagala, Sonali. Wave In 2004, at a beach resort on the coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala and her familyparents, husband, sonswere swept away by a tsunami. Only Sonali survived to tell their tale. This is her account of the nearly incomprehensible event and its aftermath.
DeVita, Elizabeth. The Empty Room: Surviving the loss of a brother or sister at any age (partly a memoir of surviving the loss of her brother Teddy to aplastic anemia)
Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking
Edelman, Hope. Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss
Eldon, Kathy and Amy Eldon Turteltaub. Angel Catcher: A Journal of Loss and Remembrance
Elison, Jennifer and Chris McGonigle. Liberating Losses: When Death Brings Relief gives permission for the relief felt by many primary caregivers (especially spouses) about death after a long illness, or when one is released from a difficult or abusive relationship.
Evans, Dale and Roy Rogers. Angel Unaware: A Touching Story of Love and Loss
Finkbeiner, Ann. After the Death of a Child: Living with Loss through the Years
Fowler, Shannon Leone. Traveling with Ghosts: A Memoir "moves from grief to reckoning to reflection to solace as a marine biologist shares the solo worldwide journey she took after her fiancι suffered a fatal box jellyfish attack in Thailand"
Funderburg, Lise. Pig Candy: Taking My Father South, Taking My Father Home (a compelling and beautifully written memoir by a grown daughtera white-looking mixed-race girl raised in an integrated Philadelphia neighborhoodwho gets to know her dying father in a string of pilgrimages to his boyhood hometown in rural Georgia)
*****Gawande, Atul. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End A needed call to action, a cautionary tale of what can go wrong, and often does, when a society fails to engage in a sustained discussion about aging and dying. ―San Francisco Chronicle
Gerhardt, Pamela. Lucky That Way. As he nears the end of his life. Ernie Gerhardt, an artist and teacher, is largely estranged from his five children, but when he suffers a debilitating stroke... Gerhardt records a string of triumphs and mishaps as Ernie and his five adult children struggle to manage his life and find meaning before their time runs out.
Gilbert, Sandra. Wrongful Death: A Medical Tragedy (about the death of her husband after entering the hospital for routine prostate surgery)
Goldberg, Stan. Lessons for the Living: Stories of Forgiveness, Gratitude, and Courage at the End of Life
Goodman, Sandy. Love Never Dies: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Love
Grollman, Earl A. Living When A Loved One Has Died
Gunther, John J. Death Be Not Proud (a young son's death from brain cancer)
Halifax, Joan. Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death. Bearing witness to dying can teach innumerable lessons to the livingassuming we give up our tight control strategies, our ideas of what it means to die well. Stories of ordinary people facing their final hours with quiet courage.
Hall, Donald The Best Day The Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon, an account of the happy 23-year marriage of two poets, her illness (leukemia and chronic clinical depression), and their peaceful creative life and many friends.
Harris, Mark. Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial (why eco-friendly burials make sense)
Hickman, Martha W. Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
Hill, Sheridan My Name as a Prayer. "n observant, wry, loving and at times sentimental memoir about caring for her mother, an irrepressible Charlotte charm schoolteacher, during the last year of her mother's life." ~Rob Neufield, Asheville Citizen Times
Hill, Susan. Family (about the death of a premature child)
Hitchens, Christopher. Mortality (an unsentimental look at what happens when you die from cancer, as Hitchens did, undergoing every treatment possible and all the losses that came with that). See Colm Tσibνn's review in the Guardian.
James, John W. and Russell Friedman. The Grief Recovery Handbook: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith. By the same authors (with Leslie Mathews): When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses
Jamison, Kay Redfield. Nothing Was the Same. The story of a midlife romance and marriage (she manic-depressive, he extremely dyslexic, and the difference between grief, madness, and depression. More about the marriage and dying than about widowhood and grief.
Johnson, Hillary. My Mother Dying (with illustrations by her mother, Ruth Jones)
Johnson, Fenton. Geography of the Heart (about the death of a gay partner)
Jokinen, Tom. Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training. A CBC journalist's "month's leave to dabble in deathcare" leads to this light behind-the-scenes look at how the funeral industry, to compensate for a more cremation-friendly audience, is offering }new options (go green, go anti-corporate, go Disney, be packed into an artificial reef and dropped in the Atlantic...)."
Kaplan, Robbie Miller. How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times--Illness and Death (less expensive ordered from the author)
Kessler, David. The Needs of the Dying: A Guide for Bringing Hope, Comfort, and Love to Life's Final Chapter (about the need to be treated as a living human being, the need for hope, the need to express emotions, the need to participate in care, the need for honesty, the need for spirituality, and the need to be free of physical pain).
Kessler, David. Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die
Kincaid, Jamaica. My Brother (account of her younger brother's death from AIDS)
Klebold, Sue.A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. Read the Washington Post review: 17 years after Columbine, the mother of one of the killers finally tells her story (Carlos Lozada, 2-13-16)
Kowalski, Gary. Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet
Kόbler-Ross, Elisabeth and Ira Byock.On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own Families. Growing out of Kόbler-Rosss famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition, this is the book that first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. How imminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve that patient, and the patient's family, bringing hope to all who are involved.
Kuhl, David. What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom For The End Of Life
Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Latus, Janine. If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation
Levin, Mark R. Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish
Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed
Lindquist, Ulla-Carin. Rowing Without Oars: A Memoir of Living and Dying (a brief, grim, and moving memoir of living and dying with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease--not an easy death).
Lynn, Joanne and Joan Harrold. Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness (Center to Improve Care for the Dying). Very practical, covering all the bases.
Manahan, Nancy, and Becky Bohan. Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully - A Journey with Cancer and Beyond
McCracken, Anne and Mary Semel. A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies
McNees, Pat, ed. Dying: A Book of Comfort. Gems of comfort, healing words on loss and grief.
McWilliams, Peter, Harold H. Bloomfield, and Melba Colgrove. How to Survive the Loss of a Love
McPherson, Myra. She Came to Live Out Loud: An Inspiring Family Journey Through Illness, Loss, and Grief. A journalist's account of the "the nitty gritty dailiness of living and dying with an awful disease." (Read this to get a sense of the pain and problems such patients and families face.)
Melinek, Judy and T.J. Mitchell. Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner. This unvarnished memoir of Melinek's experiences as a "rookie" medical examiner in New York City describes life as a forensic pathologist more realistic than CSI-type TV shows, describing the fascinating world of the forensic pathologist -- including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines Flight 587.
Mitchell, Ellen and eight other mothers. Beyond Tears: Living After Losing a Child (powerful book in which nine bereaved mothers share their experiences about what life is like after losing a child in their teens or twenties, including Ellen Mitchell, Carol Barkin, Audrey Cohen, Lorenza Colletti, Barbara Eisenberg, Barbara Goldstein, Madeline Perri Kasden, Phyllis Levine, Ariella Long, Rita Volpe )
Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death Revisited. In this update of her scathing critique of the U.S. funeral industry, Mitford criticizes the up-scaling of cremation (to make it more profitable) and other deceptive practices, monopolies in the funeral industry, funeral directors' refusal to embalm AIDS patients, and so on.
Morgan, Mary Rockefeller. When Grief Calls Forth the Healing: A Memoir of Losing a Twin In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, son of then-governor of New York State Nelson A. Rockefeller, mysteriously disappeared off the remote coast of southern New Guinea. This book is about how his twin dealt with that loss.
Morrison, Blake. When Did You Last See Your Father?: A Son's Memoir of Love and Loss
Myers, Edward. When Parents Die: A Guide for Adults
Noel, Brook and Pamela Blair. I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One
Nuland, Sherwin B. How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter (superb explanations of the actual physical process of dying and good on why and when to stop trying to rescue the terminally ill and to let them die peacefully and in less pain and discomfort)
Oates, Joyce Carol. A Widow's Story. A memoir of sudden widowhood, after 48 years of marriage. Her remarriage a year later elicited strong reactions. Read Should Joyce Carol Oates have revealed her second marriage? (David L. Ulin, Jacket Copy, L.A.Times 5-15-11) and listen to Michael Krasny's interview with Oates, KQED (and read NPR's forum comments). (See also "The Widow's Story," about the death of her husband, Raymond J. Smith, in New Yorker (12-13-10, subscribers only).
O'Rourke, Meghan. The Long Goodbye: a memoir,m which Alice Gregory reviews for NPR in 'The Long Goodbye': A Syllabus For Modern Mourning.
Picardie, Ruth. Before I Say Goodbye: Recollections and Observations from One Woman's Final Year
Porter, Max. Grief Is the Thing with Feathers: A Novel A " book to cherish. It has the perfect balance of being very sad and very funny, full of darkness and full of light.―Irish Times. The publisher calls it a novel. I would call it a long series of poems, sons' voice, father's voice (about death of his wife), and Crow's voice (grief).
Rando, Theresa A. How To Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies
Redfern, Suzanne and Susan K. Gilbert. The Grieving Garden: Living with the Death of a Child. Redfern and Gilbert reflect on their own experiences and tell the stories of 22 other parents whose children died at various ages and from various causes, from disease and accidents to suicide and terrorism. Organized in sections that mirror the stages of grief, from immediate reactions, seeking support, effects on family life and relationships, to integrating the loss into one's life and maintaining connections with a loved one.
Riggs, Nina. The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying. (Once I started this book, I couldnt stop reading. Profound, absorbing, and often even funny, Nina Riggss memoir of living and dying is a meditation on life, family, and how to cram every day of our existence with what we loveno matter how much time we have left. Brilliant and illuminating.- author Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. See also Before I go: A mothers hopeful words about life in its waning moments (Nora Krug, WaPo, 6-1-17), which grew out of Riggs's blog Suspicious Country.
Rinpoche, Sogyal. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
Roach, Mary. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (a funny, fascinating, informative book about what happens to our bodies after we're through with them, from embalming to decay to being used by plastic surgeons practicing their face-lift techniques--ideal gift for the curious reader)
Rogoff, Irit. Terra Infirma (a searing recollection of his mother's life and her death from cancer, his mother "yo-yoing between smothering affection and a fierce anger")
Romm, Robin. The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks (a young woman's raw unflinching account of losing her mother to cancer--with no sugar coating, as one reviewer puts it)
Rosenblatt, Roger. Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt, which E.L. Doctorow describes thus: "A painfully beautiful memoir telling how grandparents are made over into parents, how people die out of order, how time goes backwards. Written with such restraint as to be both heartbreaking and instructive."
Shields, David. The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead. Absorbing and delightfully informative account of what to expect from our gradually failing bodies, as we move from birth to old age and death. Surprisingly, not depressing--maybe because information feels like power.
Singh, Kathleen D. The Grace in Dying : How We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die. PW: "She is at her most perceptive when she seeks to explain why death is so frightening to us."
Sittser, Jerry L. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss (about the transformative grace that can come even in the face of catastrophic loss)
Smith, Rodney. Lessons from the Dying.Reflections, exercises, and stories of the dying from a monk who became a hospice social worker, with long experience of practical compassion.
Staudacher, Carol. A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One
Strout, Elizabeth. Abide with Me: A Novel. A congregation that had once been patient and kind during a reverend's grief now questions his leadership and propriety. And in his darkest hour, a startling discovery will test his congregation s humanityand his own will to endure the kinds of trials that sooner or later test us all.
Taylor, Nick. A Necessary End (about death of parents)
Vincent, Eleanor. Swimming with Maya: A Mother's Story (how the daughter's fall from a horse ended in organ donations--transforming a mother's grief)
Viorst, Judith. Necessary Losses: The Loves, Illusions, Dependencies, and Impossible Expectations That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Grow
Waxman, Robert and Linda. Losing Jonathan (losing a beloved child to drugs)
Westberg, Granger E. Good Grief: A Constructive Approach to the Problem of Loss
Whitmore Hickman, Martha Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief
Wiesel, Elie. Night (powerful account of surviving the nightmare world of the Nazi death camps)
Williams, Marjorie. The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family, and Fate (the last third is about her losing battle with cancer, saying goodbye to her family)
Young, Kevin. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing
11 Fascinating Books to Help Us Talk About Death and Dying (Allison Tyler, Off the Shelf, 10-22-15)
Bedside Rounds (host Dr. Adam Rodman)
Ben Greenfield Fitness (for hardcore exercise junkies)
BMJ Talk Medicine
Dr. Death (Laura Beil, Wondery) A scary story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients, and a spineless system--about Christopher Duntsch, an accredited but incompetent Texas neurosurgeon who was convicted of gross malpractice after 31 of his patients were left seriously injured after surgery, and two others died during it. See also Laura Beil Dissects a Criminal Doctors Surgical Rampage (Rachel Zamzow, The Open Notebook, 1-22-19)
Docs Outside the Box
Everyday Emergency (a podcast about Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, bringing you true stories from people on the frontline of humanitarian emergencies across the world.
FOAMcast (Emergency Medicine Core Content, iTunes)
Food Sleuth Radio (KOPN via PRX and Pacifica) Melinda Hemmelgarn,interviews experts who connect the dots between food, health, and agriculture (30-minute format). See Food Sleuth Radio archives
Healthcare Is Hilarious (Casey Quinlan, an advocate for more open access to one's own patient data).
Health Report (Dr. Norman Swan, Australia)
Hidden Brain (NPR)
The Hilarious World of Depression (John Moe, host, APM Podcasts) "Frank, moving, and, yes, funny conversations with top comedians who have dealt with this disease"
Inside Health (BBC Radio 4) Dr Mark Porter demystifies health issues, clarifying fact from fiction on conflicting health advice, with GP Margaret McCartney
Intelligent Medicine Dr. Ronald Hoffman on alternative/preventive medicine, integrative health, and natural healing.
Invisibilia (entertaining stories that explore why we think, act and feel the way we do)
Johns Hopkins Medicine Podcasts
Legends of Surgery
Mayo Clinic Radio
MJA (Medical Journal of Australia)
NEJM This Week (Audio Summaries by the New England Journal of Medicine)
Only Human (Mary Harris, host, WNYC)
The People's Pharmacy (pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to experts about drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics, NPR, North Carolina Public Radio)
QUESTioning Medicine (produced by two residents, this podcast encourages healthy skepticism of medical convention, which arose from residents and hospitalists wondering why seemingly straightforward cases gave rise to so many varying opinions)
Radio Health Journal
RadioLab (WNYC, investigating a strange world)
The Recommended Dose (with Dr. Ray Moynihan, produced by Cochrane Australia and co-published with the BMJ) In particular, try this one (interesting backstory on Cochran Collaborative) New is not always better; more is not always better; and so on.
Science Friday (Ira Flatow interviews guests on a range of subjects)
Second Opinion (KCRW, an examination of medical ethics and the practioners who define them.)
The Short Coat Podcast (A Podcast By Medical Students, For Medical Learners of All Kinds)
TED Talks About Science and Medicine
Think: Health (Jake Morcom and Cheyne Anderson, 2SER, Australia) Examines new thinking and new evidence from researchers and academics.
This Podcast Will Kill You Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke tackle a different infectious diseases each episode, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be.
2 Docs Talk (Medical Radio for Smart People, 15-minute podcasts about healthcare, the science of medicine, current issues in medicine and health policy, and everything in between--cohosts Kendall Britt and Amy Rogers, MDs)
The Undifferentiated Medical Student
What the Health? (excellent Kaiser Health News podcasts about health news and policy, with Julie Rovner and journalists from the Times, Washington Post, Politico, and other news outlets)
The Workaround (Side Effects Public Media) Stories of the difficult and sometimes shocking things people do to work around roadblocks in the U.S. healthcare system. On NPR's Shots program, for example, To Get Mental Health Help for a Child, Desperate Parents Relinquish Custody
Hat tip to Karen Brown, James Bullen, Joe Burns, Dave Rosenthal, Janice Lynch Schuster, Sue Treiman for suggesting some of these podcasts.
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After Charlotte's Mom Died by Cornelia Spelman (illus. by Judith Friedman) (for pre-school, about a child who works with a therapist)
Angel Catcher for Kids: A Journal to Help You Remember the Person You Love Who Died by Amy Eldon (spiral-bound) A guided journal to help very young children (up to 8) grieve and remember. Writing prompts get them talking and writing and capturing memories.
Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glen Ringtved, illus. by Charlotte Pardi (ages 4 to 8) Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss to life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.
Davey McGravy by David Mason and Grant Silverstein (ages 6 and up) In a misty, faraway-feeling "land of rain,"Davey McGravy lives with his father and brothers, but mourns his missing mother. A series of poems, with etchings by artist Grant Silverstein.
Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch. In an unusual yet warm story, a duck strikes up an unlikely friendship with Death.
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia. As the seasons pass, Freddie changes color from green to red to brown before he falls off in the winter, teaching kids that death is part of the cycle of life.
The Flat Rabbit by Bardur Oskarsson (ages 4 and up) When a dog and a rat come upon a rabbit flattened on the road in their neighborhood, they contemplate her situation, wondering what they should do to help her. The Flat Rabbit treats the concept of impermanence with a sense of compassion and gentle humor and a note of practicality. In the end, the dogs and the rats caring, thoughtful approach results in an unusual yet perfect way to respect their departed friend.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (no age limit -- we just about wore our copy out, we read it so often) Shel Silverstein's poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.
God Gave Us Heaven by Lisa T. Bergren, illustrated by Laura J. Bryant (ages 3 to 7) As the sun rises on her snow-covered world, Little Cub wonders aloud What is heaven like? With tender words, her Papa describes a wonderful place, free of sadness and tears, where God warmly welcomes his loved ones after their life on earth is over.
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (ages 4 to 8) What happens when a special someone who encourages wonder and magic is no longer around? We can hide, we can place our heart in a bottle and grow up . . . or we can find another special someone who understands the magic.
How to Rest in Peace (This American Life, public radio program 11-2-07). here are umpteen TV shows about solving murders, endless whodunits in bookstores. But what happens to the people left behind after the detectives close the case? Three stories about children trying to figure out how to live normally after their parents have died. One of them is a book: The Lost Night: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder by Rachel Howard
I Heard Your Mommy Died and I Heard Your Daddy Died by Mark Scrivani (illus. by Susan Aitken) (ages 6 to 9) Helps children cope with the death of a parent by examining the feelings they experience and the changes in their lives.
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers (ages 4 to 8) "A little girl delights in the boundless discoveries of the world around her with an older gentleman, likely her grandfather. But then the mans chair is empty, and the girl puts her heart in a bottle to help with the hurt. As she grows older, she loses her sense of wonderment, and it isnt until she meets another young girl that she finds a way to free her heart again.... Even if children dont glean much from the abstractions and subtleties of the narrative, theyre nevertheless in for a treat with the unforgettable visuals of imagination at play."--Booklist
I Miss You: A First Look At Death by Pat Thomas (illustrations by Leslie Harker) (ages 4 to 10) This book helps boys and girls understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have following a loved one's death.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, illustrated by Geoff Stevenson (ages 3 and up) "a heartwarming story that reassures children that even though they can't always be with a loved one, they're always in each other's hearts. Whenever a child thinks about a family member, THE INVISIBLE STRING gives a tug."--Parents Magazine
Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen (ages 5 to 8) " Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born....explainsbeautifullythat all living things have their own special Lifetimes."
Little Tree by Loren Long (ages 5 to 8) "Longs gentle but powerful story about a young tree who holds tight to his leaves, even as everyone else lets theirs drop, takes on nothing less than the pain and sorrow of growing up. Season after season, Little Tree clings to his brown-leaved self until he can take a leap and shed his protection. He feels the harsh cold of winter, but soon grows tall and green, and its not bad at all. As in Longs unaccountably profound books about Otis the tractor, a pure white background somehow adds to the depth."The New York Times Book Review
Love Is Forever by Casey Rislov. An award-winning children's book about coping with the loss of a loved one. The illustrations of a family of owls, including a young owl who misses his deceased grandfather, complement the poetic verses about the timeless quality of love itself.
Michael Rosen's Sad Book by Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake (age 9, grade 3 and up) "Sometimes I'm sad and I don't know " This is a personal and moving account of the author's experiences with grief over the loss of his son and mother and various ways of dealing with the melancholy that attends it. "Sometimes sad is very big. It's everywhere. All over me." The gentle text assures readers that despair, anger, and hopelessness are common feelings when dealing with death, but that memories of happier times can elicit a spark of joy and optimism for the future.
My Father's Arms Are A Boat by Stein Erik Lunde and Ψyvind Torseter (ages 4 and up) ""A young boy, grieving and unable to sleep, climbs into his fathers steady arms to find warmth and reassurance in this luminous story about loss, love and healing. [...] A breathtaking masterpiece." --Kirkus Reviews
My Grandson Lew by Charlotte Zolotow (ages 4 to 8) Young Lewis misses his grandfather, even though he died when Lewis was only two. Together Lew and his mother learn that remembering Grandpa together is less lonely than each remembering him alone. "Warm, rich, and beautiful, a comforting consideration of death." --American Library Association Booklist
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola (for ages 3 to 7 and up) Originally published in 1973, this autobiographical picture book was one of the first to introduce very young children to the concept of death. Given its graceful treatment of a difficult subject, it has been a parental staple ever since, and a new generations of readers will be glad to discover this timeless tale in a lovely new edition.
Part of Me Died Too: Stories of Creative Survival Among Bereaved Children and Teenagers (young adult) A moving and eloquent chronicle of eleven children, ranging from toddlers to teenagers, who have lost family or friends shows how drawing, music, and other rituals can help the grieving process, offering creative strategies for dealing with loss.
Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, illustrated by Taylor Bills (ages 6 and older) Tells the story of grief and how people handle it differently in the form of tear soup. Readers' comments suggest that this short book works with adults, too.
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst (illustrated by Erik Bleqvad) (for ages 6 to 9 and up) "My cat Barney died this Friday. I was very sad. My mother said we could have a funeral for him, and I should think of ten good things about Barney so I could tell them..." But the small boy who loved Barney can only think of nine. Later, while talking with his father, he discovers the tenth -- and begins to understand. (warning: expresses doubts about God's existence)
We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy: Two Nursery Rhymes with Pictures by Maurice Sendak (ages 4 to 8) "Sendak is back, bolder than ever, as he looks out to the problems of today's world. He combines two little-known and unrelated nursery rhymes, taking advantage of their absence of story to interpret them with a wealth of detail and social commentary. In so doing, his visual images invite readers to become co-conspirators in the creation of the tale. From the dust jacket's ragged and newspaper-wrapped children, depicted within a monstrous mouth that readers will discover is the moon, to the very last page, one must search for clues to bring meaning to the enigmatic text. (Most are in the form of newspaper headlines)....Overall, the images refer to poverty, war, crime, pollution, famine, inflation, AIDS, unemployment, and other current evils. The illustrations themselves are not frightening, but they remind readers of horrific things in the real world...We Are All in the Dumps will lead to discussion, speculation, and a variety of interpretations, all of which are appropriate for this type of allegory. This headline says it all: "Leaner Times, Meaner Times...Children Triumph." Read what Maria Popova writes about this book quoted briefly here: "the darkest yet most hopeful book Maurice Sendak ever created, as well as one of his most personal....Created at the piercing pinnacle of the AIDS plague and amid an epidemic of homelessness, it is a highly symbolic, sensitive tale that reads almost like a cry for mercy, for light, for resurrection of the human spirit at a time of incomprehensible heartbreak and grimness. It is, above all, a living monument to hope one built not on the denial of hopelessness but on its delicate demolition."
When Your Grandparent Dies: A Child's Guide to Good Grief by Victoria Ryan, illustrated by R W Alley (ages 8 to 12) Explaining what happens from a child's-eye view, the elves depict the difficult days before, after, and beyond a grandparent's death. They explore the meaning of death and heaven, as well as how to stay close in spirit with a grandparent who has died.
Where's Jess: For Children Who Have a Brother or Sister Die by Marvin Johnson (ages 4 to 10) Read the Amazon comments on this one as the book format seems to have changed, and not for the better.
Consolation for Lifes Darkest Hours: 7 Unusual and Wonderful Books that Help Children Grieve and Make Sense of Death (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings) "From Japanese pop-up magic to Scandinavian storytelling to Maurice Sendak, a gentle primer on the messiness of mourning and the many faces and phases of grief."
The Age of Adaline (Netflix: After 29-year-old Adaline recovers from a nearly lethal accident, she inexplicably stops growing older. As the years stretch on and on, Adaline keeps her secret to herself -- till she meets a man who changes her life.)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (To make the most of their meager retirement savings, a group of British seniors moves to India to live out their golden years at the Marigold Hotel. But upon arrival, they discover the once-lavish resort has wilted considerably.)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Netflix: David Fincher directs this Oscar-nominated tale of Benjamin Button -- a man who was born old and wrinkled but grows younger as the years go by -- with a screenplay adapted from a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald.)
56 Up (Netflix: Since 1964, director Michael Apted has documented the fates of a group of Britons, questioning them every seven years about their lives and beliefs. Apted's subjects are now 56 years old, and provide perspectives that are frequently surprising.)
Harold and Maude (Netflix: Hounded by his mother to get out and date, death-obsessed teen Harold would rather attend funerals. But when he meets the feisty Maude, a geriatric widow who's high on life, they form a bond that turns into an unconventional romance.)
Harry and Tonto (Netflix: Ripping a page from John Steinbeck's novel Travels with Charley, this bittersweet comedy follows an old codger named Harry as he takes a cross-country trip with his cat, Tonto, as a companion. The film earned Carney a Best Actor Academy Award.)
Life Itself (Netflix: Follow Roger Ebert from his school newspaper days to his status as America's premier film critic in this documentary drawn from his memoir. The film covers his rivalry with fellow critic Gene Siskel, his alcoholism and his personal philosophies.)
Quartet (linked to Netflix) A trio of retired opera singers' annual celebration of Verdi's birthday sours when their estranged fourth member shows up but refuses to sing. Tensions rise and diva drama erupts -- will personal problems prevent the show from going on?
Savages (Netflix: Carrying the scars of an abusive childhood, Savage siblings Wendy (Laura Linney, in an Oscar-nominated role) and Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) -- a long-aspiring playwright and a drama professor, respectively -- now face the challenge of caring for their ailing father (Philip Bosco). Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins, this insightful indie drama explores the depth of one family's emotional disconnect.)
Strangers in Good Company (Netflix: When a bus filled with eight elderly women breaks down in the wilderness, the group of strangers is stranded at a deserted farmhouse with only their wits, their memories and eventually some roasted frogs' legs to sustain them. For several days, the women share their life stories and intimate thoughts. Director Cynthia Scott directs these nonprofessional actors delivering largely improvised dialogue to heartwarming effect. )
Tokyo Story (Netflix: An elderly couple in post-World War II Japan travel to Tokyo to visit their children but are received rather coldly by their offspring. In fact, the only person happy to see them is their widowed daughter-in-law.)
Up (Netflix: After a lifetime of dreaming about traveling the world, 78-year-old homebody Carl flies away on an unbelievable adventure with Russell, an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer, unexpectedly in tow.
Waking Life (Netflix: Director Richard Linklater's animated film: A man shuffles through a dream meeting various people and discussing the meanings and purposes of the universe.)
Wild Strawberries (Netflix: Aging physician Isak Borg, begins to reflect on his life while en route to to receive an honorary degree. Along the way, a string of encounters causes him to experience hallucinations that expose his darkest fears, and he realizes that the choices he's made have rendered a life devoid of meaning.)
With One Voice (Amazon: With One Voice illuminates the unity of humanity through the single message and mystical tradition that binds all faiths together.)
Ikiru (Netflix: When a stoic government official (Takashi Shimura) in post-war Japan learns he has terminal cancer, he suddenly realizes he's squandered his life on meaningless red tape and has no close family or friendships to lean on, in this drama from director Akira Kurosawa. Resolving to use his remaining time wisely, he sets out to steer a children's playground project through the bureaucracy he knows so well.)
Terra Nova Films ("Aging and elderhood" -- visual media that foster a new look at aging and elderhood)
Legacy Film Festival on Aging
With thanks to Harry "Rick" Moody, who ran most of this list in the Oct. 1, 2015 Human Values in Aging Newsletter, distributed by the Humanities and Arts Committee of The Gerontological Society of America. I would simply link to his newsletter, but it is not available online.
If you purchase anything after clicking on an Amazon.com link below, we get a small commission, which helps support the costs of maintaining this site. You can also rent the movies from Netflix, among other options (for example, many libraries have good video collections).
After Life (1999, available on Netflix). In the days between whatever killed them and the moment they're buried, characters in this movie are no longer alive but can still move and communicate -- only with the character played by Liam Neeson. This film got mixed reviews. "At a way station somewhere between heaven and earth, the newly dead are greeted by guides. Over the next three days, they will help the dead sift through their memories to find the one defining moment of their lives. The chosen moment will be re-created on film and taken with them when the dead pass on to heaven. This grave, beautifully crafted film reveals the surprising and ambiguous consequences of human recollection."
As It Is in Heaven. "Romantic and funny, this deeply felt ode to love is a roller-coaster ride of emotions," wrote Variety, and I agree. As a bonus, the hero of this lovable Swedish film is played by Michael Nyqvist, co-star of the movies based on the Stieg Larsson "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy.
The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares). Set in Montreal, a man on his death bed invites friends and family, including a son from whom he is estranged. Much chat, and a moving ending.
Departures. A Japanese film about a very tender way to say goodbye.
Dying at Grace. One of five documentaries by Canada's Allan King. Not yet available through Netflix, which writes that it "follows the final months of five terminally ill cancer patients as they embark on their end-of-life journeys inside the Toronto Grace Health Care Center. As these patients -- three elderly women, a gay pastor and a former hell-raising motorcycle gang member -- face their deaths with mixed serenity and fear, they offer their experiences as a candid meditation on death and dying."
The Flat. When Arnon Goldfinger's grandmother died at 98, he was charged with cleaning out her Tel Aviv apartment, where he made a shocking discovery. The filmmaker plays detective as he sorts through decades of the Holocaust survivor's letters and photos.
Four Weddings and a Funeral. A romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Harakiri (a classic Japanese film about samurai codes of honor and ritual suicide)
Harold and Maude. The unlikely romance between a death-obsessed 19-year-old named Harold (Bud Cort) and a life-loving 79-year-old widow named Maude (Ruth Gordon), who meet at a funeral--a strange, quirky, disarming, often funny, ultimately life-affirming film that went from box-office flop to cult classic in the 1970s.
Ikiru (To Live). In this classic Japanese film by Kurosawa, a civil servant, learning he has cancer, realizes he has nothing to show for his life and sets out to find something that will give it meaning. A beautiful film.
Isn't It Delicious? ("directly addresses the topic via a craggy and complex quagmire of fractured family relations when cancer is the looming cause of death. But it's also wry and amusing and ultimately faces death with a lyrical sagacity." (Huffpost)
Lightning Over Water (Wim Wenders' partly scripted, partly documentary look at Nick Ray's final days, dying of cancer). Writes one viewer "This movie can hardly be described as a happy film, but it is rare to see death addressed so honestly and with such care as it is in this movie."
Maborosi (Hirokazu Kore-Eda's haunting Japanese film -- slow in parts -- about the grief, doubts, and pain caused by a death, the circumstances of which are uncertain. Read the reviews on Amazon.com before purchasing--it's not yet available on Netflix.)
Places in the Heart (Sally Field won an Oscar for her performance as a widow in a Depression-era small town--showing how differently and more directly families dealt with death at the time.)
Taking Chance, HBO's gem of a film, starring Kevin Bacon. Based on Marine Lieutenant Colonel Strobl's simple and moving account of escorting the remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps home from Dover Air Force Base. Shows the dignified way marines, airmen, and sailors are escorted home to their families and loved ones. Based on Taking Chance Home
Tuesdays With Morrie, with Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria, based on Mitch Albom's nonfiction bestseller. See also the movie based on Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Wit. HBO released this film, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Emma Thompson, and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play -- in which the ravages of cancer (and brutal cancer treatment and insensitive medical caregivers) force a demanding English literature professor to reassess life and the nature of intellect and emotion.
And these as well:
After Life (which got mixed reviews) , a film about deciding how one wants to remember one's life. "This unpretentious, endearing film is a modest triumph. Based on interviews with more than 500 people about the one memory they would choose to take with them to heaven."
Death Flicks. Celebrating Life Before Death in Short (and Shorter) Films. (Life Before Death site)
The Cuckoo (Kukushka)
The King of Masks (a remarkable Chinese film)
Jacob's Ladder. Tim Robbins stars in Adrian Lyne-directed film about Vietnam Vet who thinks he's going insane.
The best films about dying (Vue Cinemas)
Death Films (documentaries, Programs for Elderly) links to documentaries you can watch online--for example, How to Die in Oregon
Films, Made for TV Dramas, TV Documentaries and Videos Dealing with Dying and Euthanasia (ERGO's annotated filmography)
Films that are not for the dying so much (Roger Ebert on films the living watch to help them deal with their fears)
64 Movies About Grief and Loss (What's Your Grief?)
10 Movies About Death You Need To See Before You Die (Audrey Fox, What Culture, 2-26-14)
20 Necessary Documentaries About Death and Dying (Nonfics--real stories, real insights -- you can sign up to receive reviews of new films)
Lyndon Baty and the Robot That Saved Him (Luke Darby, Dallas Observer News5-16-13) In tiny Knox City, a sick boy and his robot sidekick keep beating the odds. (Also a story about a rare form of PKD)
Remembering Harriet, the famous bald eagle that helped heal veterans wounded like her (Yanan Wang, Washington Post, 5-27-16). Harriets fans were struck by how her piercing eyes, round and eternal, inspired strength. When I had some hard days trying to figure out how to get things done, said one, I looked that eagle in the eye and she would look back at me and say, You wanna do it, you can do it. See video in sidebar: Harriets Story: One Eagles Impact (National Eagle Center). And read the memoir Wounded Warriors: A Soldier's Story of Healing through Birds by Robert C. Vallieres and Jacquelyn M. Howard. (Robert C. Vallieres struggled to find his new normal when he returned home after serving in the military. An accident in Kuwait left him suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and internal injuries, leaving him in constant pain. Wounded Warriors is Vallieress story of self-healing from crippling invisible wounds through the help of birds. The problems of TBI and post-traumatic stress disorder do not have definitive solutions. His story of recovery offers a winged hope to thousands of military personnel who suffer these physical and mental battles.
To Walk With My Brother: A true story of courage, humor and love, a review of the book To Walk With My Brother: A Story of Courage, Humor and Love by Evelyn Thornton, as told to Michael F. Bisceglia.
A patient's story (wherein the surgeon. Murray Brennan, gets the Award of Courage, helping in the fight against cancer)
Philosopher Joanna Macy on How Rilke Can Help Us Befriend Our Mortality and Be More Alive (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, 12-10-14) "I am not saying that we should love death, but rather that we should love life so generously, without picking and choosing, that we automatically include it (lifes other half) in our love. This is what actually happens in the great expansiveness of love, which cannot be stopped or constricted. It is only because we exclude it that death becomes more and more foreign to us and, ultimately, our enemy."
Faces of Courage and Hope: 16 Inspiring Stories of People Living with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cancer Book: 101 Stories of Courage, Support & Love
A Revolutionary Entrepreneur On Happiness, Money, And Raising A Supermodel (Nico Pitney, Huff Post, 2-23-15) A decade before Airbnb and Uber, Robin Chase helped kickstart the "collaborative economy" by co-founding Zipcar, which became the world's largest car-sharing service. The big idea was to enable convenient access to a valuable good (in this case, a vehicle) without requiring ownership.
The Incredible True Tale of "The Queen Of Neuroscience" and Her Nobel Prize (Nico Pitney, Huff Post, 2-19-15). We are born naked, and we're going to die naked, so don't care about material things, her mother told her. "Instead, follow your passion."
MORE TO COME
An Absent Mind , a "riveting novel" by Eric Rill "about a race against time. The ticking time bomb is Saul Reimer's sanity. His Alzheimer's is going to be the catalyst that will either bring his family together or tear it apart."
Still Alice by Lisa Genova. Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease.
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey. "In this darkly riveting debut novela sophisticated psychological mystery that is also an heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and agingan elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences."
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. ""Codi Noline returns to the sleepy mining town of Grace, Arizona, to care for her father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease....Her novel compares to those of Ann Tyler in its engaging people and message that is upbeat but realistic."~Library Journal
The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey. "A brave imagining of Alzheimer's." Closer to Virginia Woolfs meditative novels than anything else I can think of. . . . This is . . . Mrs. Dalloway prose. Carolyn See, The Washington Post Book World
The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner. Joe Allston is a retired literary agent who is, in his own words, "just killing time until time gets around to killing me." "A couple in their 70s reminisce about a trip they took in their 40s or 50s, and the until now unstated impact that the events of that trip had on them. The reminiscence draws them closer together, although neither admitted the extent to which the trip had drawn them apart."
Blogs, columns, and news sites about health, healthcare, and medicine ACES Too High News (ACES = Adverse Childhood Experiences)
All About Health (Rochester NY Democrat & Chronicle)
Alltop (health) (links to five most recent stories of health news sites and blogs)
AMA Style Insider (American Medical Association)
American Health Scare (How the healthcare industry's scare tactics have screwed up our economy and our future)
Antidote: New Ways to Investigate Untold Health Stories (William Heisel, investigative health reporting, one of several health beat blogs at USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism)
Autism News Beat (an evidence-based resource for journalists)
Bad Medicine (the dubious, bad and sometimes frankly lunatic developments in the medical world). Ben Goldacre's column from The Guardian, through April 2016, covering media misrepresentations of science, with a particular focus on medicine. Listen to his TED talk, Battling Bad Science.
Boston Health News
Catching Health (Diane Atwood, Bangor Daily News)
Center for Health Journalism (USC Annenberg)
Charles Ornstein's Morning Health Reads (subscribe, Nuzzel). One day's read brought this gem: In the U.S. market for human bodies, anyone can sell the donated dead.
The Chart (Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN)
Check Up (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Citizens for Patient Safety
Commonhealth (WBUR, Boston)
Covering Health (Association of Health Care Journalists, with excellent links to health beats in newspapers, blogs, etc.--including this Health News blogroll)
Closer to Truth (TV series) Cosmos. Consciousness. Meaning. Scientists and philosophers debate the vital ideas of existence, the deepest questions. Closer to Truth discusses life's most essential topics and encourages the conversation to continue.
CMS.gov: Special Open Door Forums to independently discuss new and important program topics
Correcting the AIDS Lies (AIDS dissent is largely based on misinformation and misunderstanding--collating all relevant facts so that no one need die of ignorance)
Cracking Health Costs
DC's Improbable Science (truth, falsehood and evidence: investigations of dubious and dishonest science)
Disrupted Physician (The Physician Wellness Movement and Illegitimate Authority: The Need for Revolt and Reconstruction)
The Doctor Blog (ZocDoc)
Dr. Len's Cancer Blog
DoubleXScience, bringing science to the woman in you, whoever she is, whatever she does. Sections: biology, book reviews, chemistry, health, mental illness, notable women, pregnancy, physics, pregnancy 101, science education, everything else.
Educate the Young And on occasion...regulate the old.
Elaine Shattner, MD (Forbes blog, covers the culture and science of cancer and health)
Embargo Watch (Ivan Oransky, MD, keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage)
Engaging the Patient
FDAWebView (Jim Dickinson's webview/review/update--this interactive website that watches the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with email bulletins and archive of old regulatory, legal, policy, and scientific news)
Essential medical links for patients, families, caregivers, reporters
First Opinion (STAT) Perspective and commentary from experts around the world
Forensic Science Technician blog
Freelance Medical Writing
Grand Rounds, a weekly summary of the best health blog posts on the Internet, available at Better Health and at Blogborygmi.com
Health (The Atlantic blogs on body, family, food, mind, public, sex)
Health (Fox News)
Health (STAT) The latest developments affecting patients and practitioners
Health Affairs (blog of the journal of health policy thought and research)
Health & Wellness (Los Angeles Times)
Health Beat (Maggie Mahar) Health articles, nutritional facts, and fitness tips
Healthcare Savvy (WBUR)
The Health Care Blog
Health Care Renewal Addressing threats to health care's core values, especially those stemming from concentration and abuse of power. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty and ethics in leadership and governance of health care.
Health Navigator (NY Times selective guide to health and medical sites on the Internet)
Health News Blogs (Association of Health Care Journalists blogroll)
HealthNewsReview: Your Health news watchdog (excellent health news watchdog blog, offering perspective and opinion, by Gary Schwitzer and others--endangered because of insufficient funding). See also HealthNewsReview.org's Story Reviews (systematic, criteria-driven critiques of news stories and other media messages that may affect the public dialogue about health care).
Impatient: Helping make the health care system work for you (KPCC, Southern California Public Radio--listen live)
The Incidental Economist (Aaron E. Carroll's health services research blog)
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement
In the Lab (STAT) Putting the latest scientific research under the microscope
In the Pipeline
JAMA Forum news
**** Kaiser Health News (KHN, an editorially independent news organization dedicated to providing excellent, high-quality coverage of health care policy and politics)
Karmanos Conquers Cancer
KevinMD (physicians' voices)
Living with Cancer (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Liz Szabo's Twitter feed is great for following health and medical news and stories
MedCityNews (business of innovation in healthcare)
medGadget (emerging medical technologies)
Medical Watchdog ("we cover the latest news in defective medical devices and drugs and how people can fight for their rights when big drug companies fail to protect"
A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life (Debra Gordon)
Medical Writing Industry (blog for medical writers and editors in the pharmaceutical industry)
Medical Writing, Editing and Grantsmanship
Medical Matters (John Schumann, Public Radio Tulsa, old program about health care and the human condition)
Medicine Matters (Vancouver Sun, BC)
MedPageToday (geared to physicians; evaluates the evidence, discloses financial conflicts of interest the authors report)
MEDShadow (balancing drug risks & benefits)
Med Student's t-Test (a medical/graduate student's musings on medicine and science, with occasional rants about quackery)
Money (STAT) The business behind science, medicine, and the drug industry
Musings of a Distractible Mind (Dr. Rob Lambert)
National Association of Science Writers (NASW)
Neurologica your daily fix of neuroscience, skepticism, and analytical thinking)
News@JAMA (the JAMA forum)
The New York Times Health News
Notes from Dr. RW (hospital resources and more)
Not Running a Hospital (former hospital CEO Paul Levy) Excellent blogroll in several categories.
Off the Charts (American Journal of Nursing)
Only Human (Virginia Hughes, National Geographic)
Patient POV (Laura Newman)
Pharmalot (STAT blog) Ed Silverman, Taking stock of the drug industry, from the lab to the medicine chest
Pharmed Out (Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman), an independent, publicly funded project that empowers physicians to identify and counter inappropriate pharmaceutical promotion practices.
Politics (STAT) Tracking how politics and policy intersect with science and health care
PLoS blogs (Public Library of Science)
Prepared Patient (Center for Advancing Health) designed to help people find good care and make the most of it, based on experts' findings, recent scientific findings, and patients' experiences. (No advertising or corporate sponsorship.)
ProPublica on Health (one superb series after another)
The ProPublica Nerd Blog, a place to talk about what programmer-journalists at ProPublica are working on, announce newly-launched news applications, and to hear from technically-minded readers, as well as our fellow nerdy journalists. A sample project: Treatment Tracker: The Doctors and Services in Medicare Part B
Pulse (voices from the heart of medicine -- personal accounts of illness and healing)
The Quackometer (debunking quack medicine)
Remaking Health Care (Center for Health Journalism)
Respectful Insolence (a.k.a. "Orac knows, ScienceBlogs). Against quackery etc.
Reporting on Health blogs (California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, about blogging, health journalism, and storytelling)
--William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories
--The Reporting on Health Daily Briefing
-- Doc Gurley's Urban Health Beat (practicing medicine on the margins of society, and what we can learn from it)
Research Blogging (reports on peer-reviewed research)
Retraction Watch , (tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process--to help make public research fraud, made-up data, and erroneous or false research). Founded and run by Ivan Oransky, the executive editor at Reuters Health, and Adam Marcus, the managing editor of Anesthesiology News.
Robert Wood Johnson blogs
Rubor, Dolor, Calor, Tumor (Mark Crislip practices in infectious diseases)
Scholarly Open Access (Jeffrey Beall, Critical analysis of scholarly open access). Noted for Beall's List of potential, possible, or probable predatory scholarly open-access publishers. Read Declan Butler's article in Nature: Investigating journals: The dark side of publishing (3-27-13) "The explosion in open-access publishing has fuelled the rise of questionable operators."
Science-Based Medicine (blog exploring issues and controversies in science and medicine, including dubious medical, nutritional, and related approaches to medical diagnosis, treatment, etc.). Along the same lines see excellent page of links to medical blogs, medical sites, recommended sites, and skeptical and science blogs
Science-based pharmacy (turning an eye on the profession, separating fact from fiction on both sides of the counter)
Science Online (Conversation, Community, & Connections at the Intersection of Science & the Web)
Science Roll (Dr Bertalan Meskσ's journey in Genetics PHD and medicine through Web 2.0--medical education, medical technology, e-learning and virtual medicine)
Scientific American blogs (by latest blog posts) and Scientific American blog network (with links to blogs in categories)
Shots (Health news from NPR)
Shrink Rap (for psychiatrists by psychiatrists) and now a book: Shrink Rap: Three Psychiatrists Explain Their Work by Dinah Miller, Annette Hanson, and Steven Roy Daviss. Listen to them interviewed on Talk of the Nation (NPR)
Speaking of Medicine (PLOS Medical Journals' community blog)
STAT Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine. For $25/mo. you can subscribe to STAT Plus (which gives you "access to exclusive, in-depth pharma, biotech, business, and policy coverage, keeping you on top of whats happening in the industry as it happens."
TedMed and TEDMED Talks (video)
The Health Care Blog (covering the business of healthcare and the new ideas that are changing the health care industry)
This May Hurt a Bit (Shara Yurkiewicz, Scientific American, The intuitions, insights, and growing pains of a medical student)
Toolkit for journalists and consumers (HealthNewsReview.org) See also Just for journalists: Tips and case studies for writing about health care
Top 50 Public Health Blogs (The Science of Health blog, 1-13-10)
Tracker (or Tracker 2.0, a Knight Science Journalism Program), turning "a discerning eye on science journalism the good, the bad, and the occasionally mystifying with the hope that our analyses will help to keep science writing vibrant, alive, and free from temptation."
Terra Sigillata (about medicinal agents, not all of which are drugs)
UnBreak Your Health (Alan E. Smith, "the complete reference guide to complementary and alternative health therapies"). "Did you catch the news last week that life expectancy in America actually declined last year?...Did you know we rank BELOW Cypress, New Zealand and Costa Rica? I won't even mention the European countries." (12-10-16)
Undark . Truth. Beauty. Science. MIT's Knight Science Journalism''s online magazine, called Undark "as a signal to readers that our magazine will explore science not just as a 'gee-whiz' phenomenon, but as a frequently wondrous, sometimes contentious, and occasionally troubling byproduct of human culture."
The Upshot (data-driven blog on politics, policy and economic analysis, NY Times)
The Vaccine Times
Vital Signs (Salon.com blog in defense of science-based health care)
The Watchdogs (Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky, STAT: Keeping an eye on misconduct, fraud, and scientific integrity)
Well (NY Times blog)
White Coat Underground (doctoring in real life)
Women and Science Blogging (Daniel Lende, Neuranthropology, PLoS blog, 1-27-11) Which refers us to Even when we want something, we need to hide it (Kate Clancy, Context and Variation) and Ive never been very good at hiding (Christie Wilcox, Observations of a Nerd).
Podcasts about health, healthcare, and medicine
Advisory Board--Daily Briefings podcasts
Cancer podcasts (CDC)
HealthCetera podcasts , an evidence-based news, analysis and commentary program about healthcare and health policy. that started out on land radio and migrated online as a podcast.
Medicine Podcasts (lots of them)
Medicine Podcasts (lots of them)
Mindful Meditations (UCLA)
NIH podcasts and videocasts archive
The Weeds (Vox, semiweekly policy podcast, hosted by Ezra Klein, Sarah Kliff, and Matthew Yglesias.
What the Health? (Kaiser Health News podcast)
45 Awesome Podcasts For Public Health Students & Professionals
15 Healthcare Podcasts (Advanced Data Systems Corps)
When your father is the BTK serial killer, forgiveness is not tidy (Roy Wenzel, Wichita Eagle, 2-21-15) A haunting story. How would YOU cope with this kind of discovery?
For Marine who urinated on dead Taliban, a heros burial at Arlington (Greg Jaffe, Washington Post, 2-12-15). A Marine court-martialed for urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters has died more than two years later after a painkiller overdose. Hard to be judgmental when you know the whole story.
After Life. Radiolab stares down the very moment of passing, and speculates about what may lay beyond. What happens at the moment when we slip from life...to the other side? Is it a moment? If it is, when exactly does it happen? And what happens afterward? A show of questions that don't have easy answers so, in a slight departure from Radiolab's regular format, they present eleven meditations on how, when, and even if we die. (Followed by some angry responses from listeners!)
The Beneficial Effects of Life Story and Legacy Activities by Pat McNees (Journal of Geriatric Care Management, Spring 2009). Get PDF file of journal article here (61.9KB)
Bibliography on Grief in a family context (bibliographer for clinicians and scholars), by Dr. Kathleen R. Gilbert, Indiana University
How We Die in America (William Colby, an excerpt from UNPLUGGED: Reclaiming our Right to Die in America)
Practical resources on grief, including links to useful information (scroll down for Dr. Gilbert's reading list)
Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine (personal accounts of illness and healing, fostering the humanistic practice of medicine, encouraging health care advocacy). See Pulse's archive of poems and stories.
Two movies you might want to see (both available on Netflix):
Departures, a film about a very tender way to say goodbye.
After Life, a film about deciding how one wants to remember one's life.
Departures, a film about a very tender way to say goodbye.
After Life, a film about deciding how one wants to remember one's life.
The town with the short life
"Yearbook photos are taken during a cruel time in our lives, when that single thing you're known for is enough to summarize you completely.
"Time passes and we become who we'll be, defined by our jobs, our families, our accomplishments. Who we were is still a part of who we are, at least to those who knew us when.
"As we move on, lose touch, we're sometimes happiest when we get some minor update about the people from our past. Enough to know they landed on the other side. Enough to touch up our mental portrait of them, and then forget about them until the next time."
That's one passage from the artful and moving interactive documentary (part essay, part scrapbook, part yearbook, part home video, part obituary), Welcome to Pine Point. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for this. Click on Welcome to Pine Point. Scroll toward bottom, click on Visit Website. (Or start here at Broadhead and click on Welcome to Pine Point.) Savor.
Books and stories on family-directed funerals
Books for and about caregivers
Books about cancer, including memoirs of struggling with cancer
Memoirs of coping with chronic, rare, or invisible diseases, including mental health problems
Books about chronic or invisible diseases
Caregivers on caregiving
Memoirs of illness, crisis, disability,differentness, and survival (a reading list)
Books on medicine, health care, and caregiving (for patients and caregivers)
For your medical reference shelf