Posts Tagged: death

Lost Words For A Spruce Tree

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Over at The Hairpin, Isabelle Fraser interviews Ann Wroe, obituary writer for The Economist. Wroe has written obituaries for J.D. Salinger, Aaron Swartz, and the 25-year old carp that was “England’s best-loved fish”. On Marie Smith, the last person to speak Eyak, an Alaskan language, she relates:

“She was the only person left who remembered all the different words for all the parts of a spruce tree.

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Fatal Short Stories

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Depictions of death in short stories can challenge even seasoned writers. John McDonough, writing in the Colorado Review, explains why:

The immediacy of the death of a loved one offers rich emotional possibilities, but ones that are remarkably complicated. Mine these emotions too heavily and you run the risk of sentimentality, but too cautious an approach fails to carry appropriate weight.

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Super Hot Prof-on-Student Word Sex #12: Antonia Crane, The Dirty Dozenth

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And this is precisely why I was so entirely blown away by Antonia Crane’s new memoir, Spent, which chronicles her dark and twisted path through the above horrors with remarkable elegance and restraint. To be honest: it’s pretty fucking annoying how elegant and restrained the book is.

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Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

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When my father died my mother was still alive. And I think when your second parent dies, there is that shock: “Oh man, I’m an orphan.” There’s also this relief: It’s done; it’s finished; it’s over. Because I had felt for so many years that there was this sense of going through this whole passage, this whole last part of their lives, and all the emotional and practical difficulties of that.

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I Know Death Too Well By Now

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In a breathtaking essay on aging, Roger Angell reflects on death. At the age of 93, he writes: ”A weariness about death exists in me and in us all in another way, as well, though we scarcely notice it.”

Angell has experienced his share of loss and hardship, but emphasizes the dailiness of his own experience, and how infrequently he thinks of his own impending visitor: death.

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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We’ve had a busy couple weekends at the Rumpus lately, and we wanted to make sure nobody missed any of the spectacular essays and book reviews we’ve been posting.

For example, this weekend we reviewed Bradley L. Garrett’s urban-exploration treatise Explore Everything, and Thea Goodman wrote about her complex relationship with a cousin who suffered a severe burn and later overdosed.

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A Different Type of Grieving

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Rumpus contributor Melissa Chadburn has a heartbreaking and beautiful essay at Buzzfeed about how she is learning to grieve for her nephew who was stillborn and how to use that process going forward:

“I’m reminded of a gospel that personifies Death: Death, this being that rides a pale white horse, the clomps and gallops leaving a trail of lightning behind him, and then Death picks up the dying person or animal or baby, the person in pain, the baby that is too tired for this world, and Death brings them to rest in the bosom of Mercy and the gospel asks us mothers and sisters and fathers and sons and brothers and lovelorn and grief-stricken and lonesome — not to weep.

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“As Long As I’ve Been Alive I Have Known That I Am Going to Die”

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At five, at six, I knew that the cemetery was full of dead bodies rotting away in boxes under the ground, and I knew that I would be one of those bodies under the ground one day, too. I could imagine myself dead; I could imagine it, and I did….Sometimes I would force these thoughts upon myself as if to test their power, or my power to resist them.

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