death

People often look like they are sleeping just after dying, having a neutral facial expression. But one of my relatives, who had intense pain the hours leading up to his death and lacked access to medical care, had a radiant, ecstatic expression. For decades, I have wondered whether the last minutes of life can be… Read more

First-hand accounts of what it is like to come close to death often contain the same recurring themes, such as the sense of leaving the body, a review of one’s life, tunnelled vision and a magical sense of reality. Mystics, optimists and people of religious faith interpret this as evidence of an afterlife. Skeptically minded… Read more

After Stephanie Muldberg’s 13-year-old son Eric died of Ewing’s sarcoma in 2004, she was lost in a sea of grief. Her days were long, unstructured, monotonous. She barely left her New Jersey home. When she did leave, she planned her routes carefully to avoid driving past the hospital, just a few miles away, where Eric… Read more

Awareness of our mortality is part of being human. As author and existential philosopher Irvin Yalom said, we are “forever shadowed by the knowledge that we will grow, blossom and, inevitably, diminish and die”. There is growing research exploring the overwhelming anxiety that the inevitability of death, and our uncertainty about when it will occur… Read more

When one spouse passes away, his or her characteristics continue to be linked with the surviving spouse’s well-being, according to new research. The findings also indicate that this link between the deceased spouse and surviving spouse is as strong as that between partners who are both living. Says lead researcher Kyle Bourassa, a psychology doctoral… Read more